Manuskripte and StatORec
An excerpt from Lance Olsen’s new novel and homage to David Bowie, Always Crashing in the Same Car, marks the beginning of a cooperation between the Austrian literary magazine manuskripte and the Berlin- and New York-based StatORec in which innovative contemporary literature is introduced for the first time in German or English translation respectively. Always Crashing in the Same Car was published in issue 236 (June 2022) of manuskripte together with the English original in StatORec.
Our next cooperative publication is an
excerpt from Kathrin Röggla’s play
Das Wasser (Water), commissioned by
the Staatsschauspiel Dresden, appearing
now for the first time in English in StatORec.
Das Wasser, which premiered in April
of 2022, is a polyphonic theater piece that
presents the effects of climate change in
the Anthropocene: drought, floods, and
the hapless cacophony of politicians,
environmentalists, and activists.
Another contemporary Austrian writer,
the poet Verena Stauffer, also addresses
environmental damage and the crisis of the
Anthropocene. For the first time in English
translation, StatORec presents four poems
from Stauffer’s collection Ousia, which weaves
together vivid metaphoric imagery to
visualize the post-human and post-historical.
In April 2022, manuskripte featured an excerpt from The Norwegian Girl (issue 235), a novel-in-progress by Christian von der Goltz in which he sifts through the family records 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. Von der Goltz’s work is also part of the new issue of narrative non-fiction, Intersecting Histories, that began 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.
A third work using narrative non-fiction to explore the ways in which
personal family histories intersect 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 Winner’s family’s ties to the histories of Jewish immigration, redlining, and a Lower East Side banking scandal. Secrets and Discoveries was recently published in German translation in issue 237 of manuskripte.
Intersecting Histories continues with an excerpt from Martin Jankowski’s work in progress, Alfred Leaves His Heimat (the Native Land I Never Had), which digs into the family lore of his parents’ wartime generation to contemplate the meaning of homeland. In this excerpt, Jankowski imagines the lost land of Silesia as “some unimaginable dreamtime that put everything in place, set it all in motion, long before my own reality started.”
In the first English translation from Andreas Unterweger’s latest novel So Long, Annemarie, Pieces of Eight, the narrator struggles with his French and ponders the meanings of “la mer,” “l’amèr,” and “l’amer” as Tristan and Isolde appear in a laundromat in Nantes in a modern incarnation. And in the first German translation of an excerpt from Edie Meidav’s Another Love Discourse, published in issue 239 of manuskripte, Roland Barthes appears between the lines of a book about the tidal pull of love and family, the precariousness of our closest relationships, and the startling reality of new love.
With “Strange Bedfellows,” we’re interested in shedding light on less than obvious correspondences between the works of contemporary American and German-language writers. The next authors scheduled to appear in German translation in manuskripte
are Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Joan Juliet Buck. Stay tuned for the continued development of this issue.