„ALLER LIEBE ANFANG“ [The Beginning of all Love]: The Art of Literary Translation

Stuttgart, September 1, 2014
12. 7. 2014

Translating Cube Stuttgart

Programme (PDF)

24 – 28 September 2014

ALLER LIEBE ANFANG“ [The Beginning of all Love]: The Art of Literary Translation

International Translating Cube at Literaturhaus Stuttgart

Six exciting sides of European Literature and Translation, this is what translating cube stands for. Categories such as „Being Read“, „Being Played“, „Being Exchanged“, „Being Finagled“, „Being Checked“ and „Being Searched and Found“ will help the audience interactively experience events that place translation into an artistic and analytical limelight. In the cities of Stuttgart, Cracow, Ljubljana, Tübingen, Prague and Berlin authors, translators and experts will present the complex and polymorph nature of European literature, its spaces and entanglements.

Translators in contemporary Europe are able to excel as a result of their transcultural biographies, a different reading of texts, different life experiences as well as movements between cultures and traditions.

Wednesday, 24 September at 8 p.m.

Being Checked: Judith Hermann: Aller Liebe Anfang [The Beginning of all Love]

Special Guest: Yurko Prokhasko, Translator

Moderator: Uwe Kossack

Location: Literaturhaus Stuttgart

Aller Liebe Anfang [The Beginning of all Love] is Judith Hermann’s first novel. Stella and Jason are married, they have one daughter, Ava, and live in a house at the edge of the city. One day a man, a stranger, appears at their door in order to have a talk with Stella, as he claims. The next day the stranger comes again and after that does not leave her alone anymore. Judith Hermann tells the story of a life believed to be safe and sound that suddenly falls apart and of the irrational feeling of being defenseless. She is considered to be a definitive and formative German-language narrator of the Berlin of the 1990s. She is widely reviewed and translated, especially in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. In the second part of the evening Judith Hermann will survey the European dimension of her texts together with her translator Yurko Prokhasko, who at the same time is one of the leading intellectuals of Ukraine.
Thursday, 25 September at 8 p.m.

Being Read: Olga Tokarczuk

The Song of Bats

Moderator: Alida Bremer

Location: Literaturhaus Stuttgart

Olga Tokarczuk has received numerous awards for her writing and is considered to be one of the big names in Polish literature. With the novel The Song of Bats she ventures into the genre of thrillers, a genre that is new for her. The quirky narrator Janina Duszejko, the village English teacher, has two passions: astrology and animals. When one dead body after another is found in the neighborhood, she is always one step ahead of the police. In the process she knows how to skillfully use the inconspicuous appearance of an older woman with plastic bag in hand. Tokarczuk was born in 1962 and in 2008 she was awarded the most important Polish literary award, the Nike prize. The film adaption of The Song of Bats is planned as a German-Polish coproduction with Agnieszka Holland as director.

The writer, translator and literary mediator Alida Bremer talks with Olga Tokarczuk about her writing and her work, the transnational and European roots of her texts as well as the international attention she receives as a result of literary translation.

Friday, 26 September at 8 p.m.

Being played: The Art of Translation

An evening with Frank Günther

Location: Literaturhaus Stuttgart

With the help of words, photos, installations and film this event will search for the art of literary translation. In a word performance the translator and Shakespeare expert Frank Günther will provide fascinating insights into Shakespeare’s world, whose 450th birthday will be celebrated this year. In an unconventional and lively manner he invites the audience to join him on a unique walk through Shakespeare’s works. Günther, who was born in 1947, has translated Shakespeare for over 40 years now. Subsequently, we will demonstrate the art of translation in associative formats: in video poetics on transcultural places of the Ukrainian lyricist Kateryna Babkina, in the text and translation installation of the novella Salzwasser [Salt Water] by Ulrike Almut Sandig, which was set to music by the author in cooperation with Sebastian Reuter, and in a photo show on places of translation by participants of the EU-funded project TransStar Europe.


Saturday 27 September starting at 8 p.m.

Being played: Serhiy Zhadan & “Sobaky v kosmosi” [Dogs in Space]

Location:  Literaturhaus Stuttgart

The „boldest voice of the younger generation of the Ukrainian literary scene“ (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), Serhiy Zhadan and the ska band Sobaky v kosmosi combine ska and reggae of political emigrants from Jamaica with psychedelic choir elements from Ukrainian folk music. During their concert in Stuttgart, the musicians will introduce their new album Fight for Them. Serhiy Zhadan, who was born in 1974, is the most important and most exciting representative of a younger generation of writers in Ukraine today. He comes from Eastern Ukraine which is characterised by heavy metal and mining metropolises and whose population was greatly influenced by the industrial myth of the Soviet period. In his works of prose called Depeche Mode, Anarchy in the UKR and Hymn of a Democratic Youth he tracks down this space and its people. He accompanies whores, mine workers, students, the down-and-out and many others on their search for a new identity in the confusion of the new times.


Sunday 28 September at 11 a.m.

Searched and Found: Striking Things from Slovenian and Ukrainian Contemporary Literature

Location: Reading in the Foyer of Petra Bewer and Peter Conradi

Moderator: Amalija Maček

In the relaxed atmosphere of a private residence in Stuttgart, participants of the EU-funded project TransStar Europe will present excerpts from their literary translations of texts by great authors from the countries they come from. They will read texts of contemporary authors who tell their story in present day Europe. It is a story of identity and homelessness, uprootedness, foreigners and foreign lands, new beginnings and of borders, of the movement of borders and their transgression.

The translating cube is shaped by participants of the EU-funded project TransStar Europe who come from eight different European countries. In the course of three years they will be educated and trained in literary translation and cultural management within the framework of the project and will also be able to collect international experience.

Coordinator: Slavic Studies Department of the University of Tübingen. Partners: Villa Decius Krakau, Literaturhaus Stuttgart, University of Ljubljana, Charles University of Prague and Literaturwerkstatt Berlin as well as the partners of the EU-funded project TransStar Europe.

You will find more detailed information on the six stations of the translating cube and on the EU-funded project TransStar Europe under:




The project will be sponsored by the Federal Foundation for Culture, by the Program for Lifelong Learning of the European Union and the Robert Bosch Foundation.


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