153 pages of text and illustration.
Edited by Ricardo Domeneck. Designed by Tobias Faisst & Sophie Schiewe. Illustrated by Sebastian Holl-Trieu.
An anthology that might give a glimpse at the production of international writers in Berlin: a first installment of a project that proved itself too megalomaniac for one single book. If the production of international writers in Berlin remains rooted around a few historical names such as W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood in the 1920s, while many times hiding the production of other emigrees like Viktor Shklovsky – who wrote his "Zoo, or Letters Not About Love" in 1922 while exiled in Berlin, this was the main risk in the challenge of organizing an anthology that could give a panoramic view of the incredibly varied and international writing scene in the German capital - that of hiding voices. One of the problems, as in the case of Isherwood's Berlin-related fame against Shklovsky's obscurity, was that of language and translation. If international visual artists or musicians based in Berlin can be more readily bundled together, it is often due to their independence from and towards language. Their production of visual/sound signs is often translatable through non-linguistic means, but language – and its unique relationship between visual and sound signs – is the material for writers, their means and their end. And their relationship with readers will always be constricted by language.
This is how this project had to become not the panorama of a scene, but simply the snapshot of a specific community of writers, who have read, worked and published together, often through the lens of the Imperial language, English. Also, their Berlin residence varies in scope and length. John Holten and Johannes CS Frank are not only Berlin-based writers but also publishers, the editing heads of Broken Dimanche Press and Verlagshaus Berlin, respectively. Others are known through their work as lyricists and singers, like Luke Troynar, lead vocals in Bad Tropes, Stine Omar, vocals in Easter, or Annika Henderson under her moniker Anika. Most are based permanently in Berlin, like Shane Anderson, Cia Rinne, Hanne Lippard, Érica Zíngano, Sam Langer, Alex Turgeon, Maya Kuperman, or Lucy K. Shaw, while some share their time between the German capital and their country of origin or other cities, like Christian Hawkey and Travis Jeppesen. Others still, such as Pontus Ahlkvist, Leila Peacock or Serhiy Zhadan, have already left Berlin after spending a sometime here. William Zeytounlian and Max Oravin (all rules deserve exceptions) visit the city often, though they never established residence here.
This is the first volume of a necessarily ongoing project if we wish to have a deeper look into the many languages and national scenes forming the international literary panorama in Berlin. We hope in the next volumes to broaden it in scope to include writers from continents not charted in this book, increasing the list of +1 in the guest list of Berlin's German literary party. I hope this little book helps to mix the crowds a little bit more.
-Ricardo Domeneck July 2015