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Ann Cotten

Florida-Spaces

»Want to earn money writing? Want to disclose your most intimate thoughts?« Naturally, people reacted to our invitation in the classifieds and sent in texts. Some of them have been gathered in the present portfolio, which we have tentatively entitled »Florida-Spaces«, borrowed from one of the more unconventional submissions. Its author is the Marienfeld School, a group of philosophising dogs, one of whom, a cocker spaniel/architectural critic, happened upon the one from that requires further examination: the provisional projection, the leaning greenhouse, the post-modern sickness of the mind, the Florida-Space. Other individuals submitted poems, like Bettine, Bettine’s Mother, a revolutionary caddisfly and former Stasi-agent who keeps a journal about her dreams. The texts have been annotated to aid the reader’s understanding.

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Ann Cotten

Sonnets from the Dictionary of Borrowed Words

Weighed down by few associations, artificial, new, or existing in our everyday language merely temporarily – loan words seem to apologise for their existence: »I’m only fulfilling a conceptual function, occupying a job for which there’s no qualified German available at the moment.«

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Ann Cotten

Banned!

Billowing palm trees, a rustle in the celery, a tiger disappears, an atomic bomb detonates in the distance, and a consciousness starts moving backwards. The latter belongs to a TV presenter who has been banished to a deserted island due to numerous instances of grave misconduct, equipped with (as per her own choice) a knife, a grindstone and Meyers Konversations-Lexikon.

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Ulrike Edschmid

A Man Who Falls

Summer 1986. Berlin-Charlottenburg. A man climbs up onto a ladder to paint the ceiling of a flat in a turn-of-the-century building he intends to move into with his partner. He loses his balance and falls. Afterwards, nothing at all is like it was. Little else could have shattered the life of two people at the beginning of their future together in such a brutal way. But what at first seems like an ending slowly turns into the exploration of an unknown continent: one’s own life.

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Oswald Egger

Val di Non

Can you imagine a mountain without its corresponding valley? If you can imagine both God and the world, can you manage to imagine, for example, God without the world? That which hovers before your mind’s eye, from A to Z, often appears more real than what’s confusingly in front of you.

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Hans Magnus Enzensberger

The History of the Clouds

In these 99 meditations, Hans Magnus Enzensberger takes a very close look at things: He feels that clouds are alien and yet symbols of human life. He captures the individual miniscule detail, the fleeting moment and lends it the dignity of presence; and he seeks out the eternal, the law in which being born and dying are but two sides of transience.

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English world rights (Seagull), Spanisch world rights (Poesia Senor Hidalgo), France (Vagabonde), Italy (Einaudi), Korea (Saemulgyul)

Durs Grünbein

Declared Night

Exploring the possibilities individuals have within the limits of their life-times and the confines of the big city as their living space – these have long since been themes that Grünbein addresses.

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Italy (Einaudi), Hungary (Jelenkor)

Durs Grünbein

Porcelain

The night between the 13th and 14th of February, 1945 marked one of the most brutal and much discussed events of World War II; it was the night that Dresden, one of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities in Europe, was reduced to soot and ash in a matter of hours.

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Durs Grünbein

Verses for the Day after Tomorrow

Durs Grünbein’s new book of poetry is a work of memory and yet also a volume of transitions and transformations. In seven sections and with a variety of different verse forms, Grünbein’s range of images melds to form a picture of the world. Poems on origin are at the beginning, before, in travel poems of all things, the uncanny nature of modern mobility emerges.

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Italy (Einaudi)

Durs Grünbein

Spark Plugs

Spark Plugs is a collection of 83 poems in diverse forms consisting of dream fragments, snippets of speech, prose poems, broken sonnets, and sequences that read like accident reports. They are all based in Italy, on Italian relations, and on Italian motifs in their historical dimensions but also on decay and destruction. There is a strong emphasis on the now. These poems are often quick, and work directly on the level of impression. They vary in form from the sonnet to the long poem. Of the two longer poems in the collection one has to do with the quirks of perception and the relationship between reality, sleep, and dream while the other is interfused with the poet’s own colour photographs. Textually varied, diverse in tone, rapid and at times experimental, this is a solid, well-written collection of poetry.

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Thomas Kunst

Colonies And Cufflinks

Thomas Kunst’s new poems are like a foray through a Luna park: Arab horsemen gather in the DIY superstore, the battle of Tours and Poitiers rages between carports and garden furniture covers in the year 732, and we encounter a Viking on 54th street in New York.

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Christian Lehnert

Draughts

If you wanted to ascribe a style to Christian Lehnert’s poetry, it would most likely be that of the metaphysical poetry. In that way, his poems claim a unique position in contemporary German poetry; following the examples of poets like John Donne, Shakespeare of George Herbert, his influences stem mostly from the Anglo-Saxon tradition of poetry.

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Nicolas Mahler

Poems

A philosophy of life presented in image-poems about the absurdity of existence Poems worthy of Beckett, Cioran and Wittgenstein’s praise Written by the »existentialist of humour«

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English world rights (Seagull), Czech Republic (Archa)

Friederike Mayröcker

brütt

»brütt«. To Friederike Mayröcker a symbol of pain and hardship, of the cold and of grief, were it not for the »sighing gardens« that lend a soft counterbalance to the stirrings of love that she traces carefully. But did it really happen, the relationship with Joseph, or is it nothing but a chimera, but wishful thinking? In the midst of the raptures of love, certainty is never within reach. Nevertheless, the author is able to bring order into the hazy states of mind, to give name to the sensations felt and to track the inexplicable. In her unmistakable linguistic accuracy, she exposes the fragile core of love layer by layer and thus frees herself from the chains of the unspeakable.

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English world rights (Northwestern UP – published, rights reverted), France (Atelier de l'Agneau – published, rights reverted)

Friederike Mayröcker

cahier

Friederike Mayröcker doesn’t have time. Neither for résumé and memory, nor for extensive observations and reasoning and certainly not for storytelling. She doesn’t even have time for life itself if it isn’t one of writing. What counts is poetry alone, as well as »the echo-like inventions« contained in her writings, of a life that has lasted for almost a century already. On the outside, this life may be subjected to the impositions of the finitude of all human existence – on the inside and in its transformation into the eternal moment, it is constantly gaining new ways of experiencing: »(The years are becoming more incredible), the blue, slits of the sky, am ambivalent.«

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Friederike Mayröcker

études

Études is what Friederike Mayröcker calls her prose poetry and lyrical prose pieces, studies then, or »shreddings«, as she says, splintering, brittle and highly concentrated; the language heightened to the most essential of it only, that is the dissolution of boundaries between time and space, the transposition of the lived moment into an eternal here and now. All of them are variations on the evanescence of everything terrestrial – a motive that has long since become the dominant one in the poeta magica’s later works which are constantly radicalising themselves.

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Friederike Mayröcker

fleurs

fleurs – the flowers, the flower petals, they give this book its title, make us think of spring, of mild air and gently flowing ribbons. But if you let yourself be lured onto that track, you are not going to end up on a lovely field of flowers, but on stony and steep terrain: »agnus dei the footlingsz bound together, 1 bushel of white flowers in the mouth«. That’s the Mayröcker-sound that has been ringing out her whole poetic life – unsentimental, crystal clear, committed to nothing but a poetry that only ever wants the one thing: images of compelling power and vividness and a language so free, bold and unspent as if it had been newly invented for this book.

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Friederike Mayröcker

ich sitze nur GRAUSAM da

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France (Atelier de l'Agneau)

Friederike Mayröcker

Scardanelli

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Spain (Ediciones de Aqui), Sweden (Ellerströms), Hungary (Pluralica)

Friederike Mayröcker

And I Shook my Beloved

Spiegel Online: »Have you ever considered writing, rather straightforwardly and at length, about your relationship with Ernst Jandl?« Mayröcker: »I’ve thought about it, but I need time.« Interview from October 26, 2001

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Sweden (Ellerströms)