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Issue 15

stadtsprachen magazin (2020)


“Language is a virus” wrote William S. Burroughs in 1962 (in his groundbreaking novel “The Ticket That Exploded”). Berlin is full of such viruses: swarming, crowding together, it is a joy. Berlin gets along with viruses, Berlin loves viruses, there is place for them here. We even get by, even with Covid. Literature is written in over one hundred and twenty languages in this city every day and, as always, we dig deep and make visible some of the most intriguing voices and texts. Virus or no virus; difficulties of all kinds; rules or no rules – writing is always done, dreams are always dreamt, there is always something new to discover. We always need poetry, we always need experiments, there can never be enough food for thought. Stadtsprachen therefore wont rest and the 15th issue of our magazine is published – almost concurrently with the 15th anniversary of the Berlin Literary Action, which publishes this magazine – at the beginning of autumn in anticipation of the new website, which we will launch with a completely new design by the end of this year to continue this multilingual project.

There’s still much to read, and that will never be any different, now we’ve also included a musical poetry video, and soon there will be more just like it, as well as audios and related digital formats … This has less to do with us “going digital” because of Covid but because stadtsprachen magazin has always been completely digital right from the beginning.

The contributions of 20 authors and 11 translators in French, Spanish, German, English, Portuguese, Dutch, Turkish, Czech and Russian (usually you can read each text in several of them) for this issue are strikingly visceral. Apparently, the virus-related restrictions of the last few months stimulate the senses, inviting thought games in which seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling and immersion are all important. Obviously,  viral restrictions stimulate us to think further, to think beyond, to feel more precisely, no matter in which language. Come into the open, friends!

Martin Jankowski



Sharon Dodua Otoo: The Unpublished Interview

Dora Kaprálová: Ostrov ohraničených možností

Cécile Calla: La culotte oubliée

Douglas Pompeu: um idioma que sirva de início

Dilek Mayatürk: İğne ile İplik

Ekaterina Sadur: Langsam verdichten sich die Dämmerung und der Oktober über Berlin

Synke Köhler: chunking express

Jordan Lee Schnee: The High Andes

Jota Ramos: Elástico

Ozan Zakariya Keskinkılıç: biber salçası gibi

Philothée Gaymard: Monumentale

Ilia Ryvkin: До яблоневого цвета

Ryan Ruby: Two or three photographs of Sophia Schliemann

Aurélie Maurin: Ballade en rêve

Mara Mahía: Fake Johny

Diana Plaza Ortiz: Puente

Lars Jongeblod: Immerse

Stéphanie Lux: Mues

Jacques Schmitz: Tongtaal, ruw

Carla Bessa: Aí eu fiquei sem esse filho



Friedrich Hölderlin (17701843)
Der Gang aufs Land. An Landauer

Komm! ins Offene, Freund! zwar glänzt ein Weniges heute
Nur herunter und eng schließet der Himmel uns ein.
Weder die Berge sind noch aufgegangen des Waldes
Gipfel nach Wunsch und leer ruht von Gesange die Luft.
Trüb ists heut, es schlummern die Gäng’ und die Gassen und fast will
Mir es scheinen, es sei, als in der bleiernen Zeit.
Dennoch gelinget der Wunsch, Rechtglaubige zweifeln an Einer
Stunde nicht und der Lust bleibe geweihet der Tag.
Denn nicht wenig erfreut, was wir vom Himmel gewonnen,
Wenn ers weigert und doch gönnet den Kindern zuletzt.

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