DIMENSION2 is a bilingual literary magazine that presents German literature to an American audience by printing the original German texts and their English translations on facing pages. As an independent endeavor, it continues the unique tradition that was started by A. Leslie Willson's Dimension, which has now ceased publication after its twentieth volume.
How DIMENSION2 was born
Ingo Stoehr recounts: I was there when Günter Grass would not let Leslie Willson get away with stopping publication of Dimension. In May 1989 Günter Grass was on a reading tour sponsored by the Goethe Institut and also read in Houston with a subsequent question-answer session, which was moderated by Leslie Willson. One night, when a small group of us went ot a Mexican restaurant, Grass, who knew of Leslie Willson's plans to discontinue Dimension, reached over to give Leslie Willson a hug to express his appreciation for Willson (and his achievements for German literature, I might add). This gesture came as a complete surprise to the whole group, and Grass said that we should do something to change Willson's mind about his journal. Shortly after that our conversations about Dimension's future began. Leslie Willson did not change his mind, but he gladly agreed to serve on the editorial board of a new journal that will continue the tradition he started in 1968 with Dimension.
To honor Leslie Willson's achievement, the name "dimension" remained reserved for his journal; the new journal is "the second dimension," hence the title DIMENSION2.
The Revised Program
DIMENSION2 follows the successful general format of the original Dimension; at the same time, the publication program has been streamlined: Each of the three annual issues has its own focus. In addition to the traditional emphasis on primary texts of all literary genres, all issues of DIMENSION2 contain introductory essays and interviews with German authors and publishers.
The January issue of DIMENSION2 is the most up-to-date: Only a few months after the new releases in the previous fall, excerpts from selected books will be available to readers not just in German but also in English translation.
The May issue of DIMENSION2 focuses on previously unpublished texts from literary archives and other institutions. The interview in this issue is conducted with the director of a literary institution in order to emphasize the special importance for German literature of that particular institution, such as the Uwe-Johnson-Archives (1994), Walter Höllerer's Literary Archives in Sulzbach-Rosenberg (1995), the Literary Archvies in Marbach (1996), Franz Michael Felder Archives in Bregenz, Austria (1997), and the Swiss Literary Archives in Bern, Switzerland (1998).
The September issue of DIMENSION2 is devoted to a special topic in order to provide a more in-depth consideration of German literature, for example the new Germany (1994), the Third World (1995), the Classical tradition (1996) in German Literature, the Image of the United States (1997).
DIMENSION2 is imminently usable in various classroom situations at all levels; plans for spin-offs include interactive software.