Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lutz Seiler: Turksib

i read it on thursday, this small book that rails along the turkestan-sibirian railroad "Turksib" in a first short story. and then switches place and time, and contemplates on the beauty of the moment in a second story.

didn't know about the Turksib before, but the railroad comes with a webpage with russian letters, and with a camel next to the translate-button:

the transib story includes this tale about life and death:
"Ob ich wüßte, daß hier jeder Tod schon zu Lebzeiten ein Lied nach sich zöge, denn jeder Steppenbewohner müsse Sorge tragen für sein eigenes Klagelied. Täte er es nicht, würde nichts gesungen, alle säßen nur stumm zu Füßen des Toten, aber dann könne der Tote nicht zur Ruhe kommen, dann bliebe er auf immer etwas schuldig."

here the babelfish translation - couldn't resist:
"Whether I would know that each death would already draw a song here during lifetimes, because each steppe inhabitant had to take care of his own complaint (mourning) song. If he would not do it, nothing was sung, all would sit only mutely to feet of the dead one, but then the dead one could not come to peace, then he would remain guilty for always something."

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