READING TOURS – Around the world with literature from Austria.
Summertime is reading time! The literary program schreibART Austria of the Foreign Ministry’s Foreign Cultural Section introduces 16 authors who are also ideal for travel luggage.
However, schreibART Austria primarily sends the authors themselves around the world. The literary promotion program is intended to give the authors selected by a jury the opportunity to present their work internationally in the network of the Austrian Cultural Forums and Austrian Libraries worldwide and to establish international contacts with publishers and translators.
Reading samples and short biographies of the authors selected for the currently running program are also compiled in the anthology schreibART III. “In addition to the plurality of topics covered, there is also an almost exuberant desire to play with language, to experiment with language,” explains Teresa Indjein, head of the Section for Cultural Relations Abroad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and responsible for schreibART, in her foreword to the anthology.
Birgit Birnbacher, the winner of the 2019 Bachmann Prize for Literature, can be found with her novel “Ich an meiner Seite,” in which she takes as her subject matter the stony, almost impossible path from juvenile detention to a regular life. Work, advancement and the dream of a better life can also be found in the works of Harald Darer, Paul Divjak, Marie Gamillscheg and Barbi Markovic. With different linguistic styles and means of expression, they approach the chosen theme in a very intensive way.
In his work “Blaumann”, the latter creates a non-meeting out of the hypothetical meeting, the humiliations of young people in their apprenticeship years and being a worker a story of authentic linguistic and helplessness. Paul Divjaks, on the other hand, in his novel “Dardanella” moves the first-person narrator into the sophisticated world of idleness, which makes him completely lose the relationship with his body and search for the meaning of life. Rocking, snotty bold!
Marie Gamillscheg sets her debut novel “Alles was glänzt” in a place reminiscent of iron ore near the Erzberg, which is now itself doomed due to the demise of the economic base of mining. Fates become entangled in structural change and transformation as well as environmental destruction and meaninglessness.
Finally, Barbi Markovic transforms her protagonists into three “Superheldinnen,” which is also the title of her novel. Three friends with immigrant backgrounds dream of belonging and moving up in the consumer world of middle sight when they discover they have superpowers. Oscillating linguistically between now and later, in a bitterly Kafkaesque tone, Markovic awakens a dream of great happiness.
schreibART AUSTRIA III
The literary recommendation programme of the cultural department of the Foreign Ministry
Infos zu Lesungen in Österreichischen Kulturforen:
Lesungen und Interviews auf der homepage der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Literatur