Statement of Record

Intersecting Histories

I

Essays in Narrative Non-Fiction

“Intersecting Histories,” our new issue of narrative non-fiction, explores the ways in which personal family narratives become interwoven with larger political histories. It begins with German journalist and novelist Michaela Maria Müller’s “The Camps of Silesia: Topographies, in which the author immerses herself in her grandfather’s memoirs describing his five gruelling years in forced labor in the aftermath of WWII. This is followed by an excerpt from a work-in-progress by German jazz musician, composer, writer, and translator Christian von der Goltz. In April 2022, the Austrian literary magazine manuskripte featured an excerpt from von der Goltz’s The Norwegian Girl (issue 235*) that sifts through the family lore surrounding his grandfather’s involvement with the Norwegian Nazi party during WWII. StatORec now presents the first excerpt from this work to be translated into English.

A third work using narrative non-fiction to probe the landscape of family history as it intersects with a larger political history is an excerpt from David Winner’s new novel Master Lovers. “Secrets and Discoveries: The Bank Building” inquires into the intriguing story of S. Jarmulowsky and Sons and his family’s ties to the histories of Jewish immigration, redlining, and a Lower East Side banking scandal. “Secrets and Discoveries” will be published in German translation in issue 237* of manuskripte, to be released November 30, 2022.

Moving from the early- and mid-twentieth century to the present day, Maxim Matusevich explores the painful loss of a common past as a brutal war rages on in Ukraine. Matusevich’s personal essay, “The War Against Nostaglia,” examines the emotional and logistical impact of the Russian “special military operation” on Sergei, an old army buddy from St. Petersburg who moved to Kyiv in the nineties to raise a family and start a business—one that’s proved too important to the war effort for him to leave.

The next essay in our ongoing issue is Domači glasovi by Andrea Scrima, which borrows its title from an inmate newspaper circulated in the Austrian camp at Lienz-Peggetz in the years following WWII—where its editors, like the thousands of other Slovene displaced persons trapped there—waited in fear of being repatriated to Tito’s Yugoslavia. The essay, which was previously published in 3QuarksDaily, is also about time, Renaissance sundials, lost days in the Julian calendar, compassion fatigue, and a friend who was born in the limbo of Ellis Island. 

* The works of the issue “Intersecting Histories” appearing in German translation are also part of our cooperative project with manuskripte, “Strange Bedfellows.”

Still to come: Essays by Jake Schneider on the history of the Yiddish language as it extends across national borders; Martin Jankowski on his upbringing in the GDR and his family’s origins in Silesia; and Herb Randall on his ties to Ukraine.

Statement of Record

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