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Issue no. 11

stadtsprachen magazin (2019)


Over 100 languages are currently spoken in Berlin – and also written.  The appeal of Berlin as a city of literature continues unabated: the small Berlin Writing Prize for short prose in English alone received well over 300 entries from all over the world this summer, and more than 200 authors* from Berlin who write in other languages than German applied for the ambitious writer’s scholarship of the Senate for “Non-German Literature”. In addition to German and English-language literary magazines, there are literary magazines in Spanish and Portuguese, Russian and French and a growing number of other-language small publishers in this city – Berlin is also a true Babylon of literature in 2019, and the trend is rising. For more than three years, we from stadtsprachen magazin have been diving into this swarm of languages, literatures and voices in search of new faces and interesting texts.

More than a hundred years ago, people dreamed of overcoming the confusion of languages and establishing a simple, worldwide language. The best known planned language with a simple structure and borrowings from many world languages was Esperanto. The inventor of Esperanto, Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof, grew up in the city of Białystok, now Polish and part of the Russian Empire at that time. Because of the cultural mixture of Poles, Lithuanians, and Germans, he had the idea already in his school days at the end of the 19th century that a neutral language could help to prevent the formation of ghettos and racism – and that in the end it could also be the key to world peace. In this issue, we are now raising a very special treasure with the legacy of the esperantist Manfredo Ratislavo: until his death in June 2018, he devoted himself intensively to the translation of German poetry into Esperanto. We present his extraordinary poetry archive with an introduction by his son Max-Gerd Retzlaff, who lives in Berlin, and at the same time would like to remind you of the dream of a worldwide common language. We would also like to pay tribute to the passionate work of a translator who, like many others in this profession, mostly worked in the shadow of the literary world. Berlin’s literary translators are still receiving far too little attention and appreciation for their tireless, creative work in 2019; we will be concerned about this in the coming autumn.

It is precisely thanks to the many great translators that we feel today that Berlin’s Babylonian multilingualism is an enrichment that makes our contemporary literature sparkle in all its colours: 21 authors* (7 men, 14 women), 11 translators and 11 languages (including Esperanto) are published in #11 of the stadtsprachen magazin: An enticing pool of the latest literary discoveries.

For the editorial staff (with Joey Bahlsen, Birger Hoyer and Lea-Liane Winkler),
Martin Jankowski (editor in chief)



Donna Stonecipher: Die Ruinen der Nostalgie 52

Ron Segal: Die Stimme

Max-Gert Retzlaff: Manfred Retzlaff

Federico Federici: Schneesamen

Henry Lyonga: Recipes that teach & Lessons learned

Chun Shu: kindergarten

Lars Jongeblod: Stars

Laurence Ermacova: Solo Album

Megan Voysey: Lateral lines

Esther Andradi: Drei Verräterinnen

Gabriel Don: Manche Leute

Dmitri Dragilew: Gedichte

Nora Amin: البداية الأولى

Greg Nissan: Tour meets at the Moabitian Riviera

Elsye Suquilanda: Augenringe von Saturn

Donna Stonecipher: Die Ruinen der Nostalgie 26

Valeska Brinkmann: Ein Fenster in Berlin

Eve Richens: Tics

Dasom Yang: Genetisch Gesprochen 1

Zehava Khalfa: Owls

Idra Novey: Dein Gruß, Welt

Inna Krasnoper: ди-wait-стой-s[t]ay

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