Dimension2: Contemporary German-Language Literature

Volume 4, Number 2


Forward! -- Editorial

Ingo R. Stoehr

Editing a literary magazine is indeed a dream come true; nevertheless, there are occasional experiences that are more nightmarish than pleasantly dramlike. But now the problems that caused a delay have been solved, and the issue is out. Just a few thoughts:
First, this issue focuses on the Franz-Michael-Felder Archives in Bregenz, Austria, and the writers who are represented in the archives, then on other writers who are related to the first group of writers, and finally, on Austrian writers in general.
Second, I wasn't able to include Kundeyt Surdum, whom Ulrike Längle praises highly in the interview; however, this issue presents another author originally from Turkey who now writes in German, Zafer Senocak. They represent a group of writers to whom I would like to pay more attention here.
Their literary career is defined by a multicultural experience, or more precisely: Their writing process grows out of a bilingual consciousness. That is something that promises to be very interesting since the areas of literary scholarship and translation studies intersect here.
Third, the translation process itself has me fascinated. Time permitting, I correspond with the translators about their translation, and often the end product is something quite different than what either the translator or I could have achieved on our own. That is perhaps the most gratifying part of the actual editing process of a bilingual literary magazine.
Of course, I cannot claim perfection. We all make mistakes. But then: What are mistakes? There are obvious ones, e.g., when See means lake and not ocean or vice versa. Yet there is so much more that is typical of the perpetual work-in-progress and interpretative character of translation. Therefore, I am grateful when translators share their thoughts as Scott Williams does in his translation notes in this issue.
Fourth, some of the texts in this issue are particular treats. Without taking away from the other texts, I would like to point out the stories by Längle, Frischmuth, and Jonke. Jonke's story is especially complex and, therefore, rewarding and fun. And F
rischmuth's story might invite lively discussion ... German-language literature is alive and well!


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