Thursday, May 13, 2010

Herta Müller (Mokkatassen) + Predicate

currently reading .. 2 books from the library visit, and a daily s-press book:

- Herta Müller: "Die Blassen Herren mit den Mokkatassen" ("the pale gentlemen with the mocca cups") . in December, i read a novel by Herta Müller - i got curious for her writing after she received the Nobel Prize for Literature. the novel was a tough read, based on Müller's life in Romania under Ceausescu's totalitarian regime (the blog post, here). this book shows a different facet of her work: collage poems, created with cut-out words, pieced together in new ways with a touch of humour and a noir undercurrent.

- the other library book is a coffee table book on german literature, starting in 900 and leading to the 20th century in different features for each epoch: authors, formats, publishing, themes... plus, there are lots of images and quotes and timetables included. the gentleman on the cover is: Goethe, without mocca cup.

- and the third book is a small press books, “Predicate”: a collection of 6 dialogues on writing. it is available as downloads, and even comes with different chapter downloads. with Predicate, i tried a printing option i only noticed recently: “several pages on 1 side”. out came a nice double-page chapbook. well, almost. but it comes close. and again there was this feeling: words feel different when they are printed out, and forming pages.
here is a bit from the dialogue with Mel Bosworth, about the joy of reading, and the parallel to flying: “For me, part of the joy of reading is to be able to let go of the controls. It’s like taking a flight. You are strapped into your seat between a fat man and a chatty woman, surrounded by chance and danger, and you have no chance but to trust the pilot. Hopefully he knows how to fly a plane. And if he doesn’t, well, then you die next to a fat man and a chatty woman. But at the very least you get to hold their hands while the plane smashes into the sea.”

1 comment:

marly youmans said...

Collage poems... hmm. Wish there was a sample. I shall have to go quarry a couple of European and German anthologies out of my book midden and see if I can find anything.