29 September 2010

can writing schools close market gaps?

DIE ZEIT has an interview with josef haslinger who is both the managing director of the Deutsches Literaturinstitut in Leipzig and also a writer. in that interview he claims that professionally training authors in writing schools like his own is closing a quality gap in german literature. and better yet, he blames us individuals and for-profit literary magazines for not educating younger writers better - in our free time, of course:

"Durch den Niedergang der Gruppen und die Professionalisierung der Zeitschriften, es gibt ja fast keine Autorenzeitschriften mehr, ist eben die Notwendigkeit entstanden, solche Schulen zu haben, in denen Autoren literarische Erfahrungen sammeln können."

i think he purposely ignores economic realities here. people need to go to work these days, unlike in the seventies, when hanging out in smoke filled uni corners was hip. there is not enough governmental funding for literary endeavours. yadda yadda. i'm boring myself with the perpetual sermon of a self-sustaining literary system, no courage to try new things and the ongoing homogenization professionalization of writing styles. he can tell me about his students' striving for originality all he wants - they voluntarily entered an institution whose aim it is to prepare them for a literary market that resorts to celebrating people like helene hegemann for originality. good for her, i guess, that at least she never attended a factory school like that. in any case, a better title for this post would have been "writing schools must close market gaps or else they'll be shut".

25 September 2010

alistair noon, ulrich ladurner, and the murakami collective

alistair noon has a reading coming up at this year's poetry hearings kick-off event:

    fri, 24 september, 19:30, direktorenhaus, am krögel 2, 10197 berlin, € 5,00

ulrich ladurner will be reading from his book Eine Nacht in Kabul (residenz verlag):

    wed, 29 september, 19:00, martin-gropius-bau, niederkirchnerstr. 7, 10963 berlin, € ?

i'll write a review of that book, so i'll do my best to attend that one.

and last but not least: some friends of mine started a blog project entitled reading murakami.

20 September 2010

no more anonymous comments

i'm sorry to announce that as of now, anonymous comments are no longer possible on WOAW. this is long common on other blogs and down to all the spam i've been receiving lately. please keep participating though. thanks for sharing your thoughts.

18 September 2010


last night i attended my first literary event in forever (after an unsuccessful try on thursday, when we had originally planned to visit the literaturwerkstatt for the klagenfurt-nachlese but spontaneously decided to go for dinner instead): sascha lobo's premiere reading of his novel Strohfeuer. at a whopping 8€, cover charge wasn't cheap for all those who had missed the chance of getting free admission via sascha's twitter, and you know i get very displeased when unhappy with prices. and now comes the but: sascha's reading was one of the most entertaining and diverting i had been to in a long time. in spite of lots of funny car content, which i thought to be the new cat content - or as kathrin put it, cat content for men - and in spite of frequent mentions of hitler and piglets. the latter somewhat reminded me of toni mahoni's recent book Gebratene Störche, but that must have been a coincidence, since toni's book came out only in february of this year and so Sascha couldn't have known, as his should have already been in print at that time. other comparisons included beigbeder's 39,90 - that i remember from working at hugendubel in frankfurt am main, checking out over and over in the fall and winter of 2001. "just a similar topic", in sascha's eyes, and anyways, he couldn't have written his book ten years ago, he first needed some personal distance from the business and bubble and all. and while strohfeuer certainly hasn't reinvented the literary wheel, the excerpts that freshly dyed sascha read were well-written and fun to listen to. rumor has it the first chaper is weak, though, so when at the book store: just skip it. ;)

14 September 2010

räumen [spacing]

mein kopf ist ein halbmond
aus schuhen aus schminke
manchmal meinen kleidern
verwaschen ich habe zwei
stapel geladen zwei seelen
die taschen mein kopf ist ein
gläserberg wirklich aus lampen
ikea ist nichts im vergleich 
zu den räumen in mir meinem tisch 
der ein bruder des kaktus ist 
alles okay im kopf hört ihr 
sist alles okay in mir drin weil:
kein abschied wird je gut genug.

[rough translation:


my head is a half moon
of shoes and of make-up
of clothes sometimes washy
i loaded two piles right two
souls and the bags so my head
is a mountain of glass oh yeah
lamps and ikea has nothing
on what is inside me my table
who's one of my cactus's brothers
i'm fine in my head can you hear
me i'm fine for no parting will
be good enough.