Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Literaturhaus Wien Zieglergasse 26A, 1070 Vienna

7:00 pm

NO | FEAR of Fear

Exhibition Opening

© Lukas Dostal

Friederike Mayröcker: Short reading
The grande dame of Austrian literature reads from her exhibition text, a “proem” on overcoming fear. Central to the piece is a Snoopy figure, a pre-surgery consolation gift.

© Lukas Dostal

Robert Schindel: Short reading
The author and president of the International Erich Fried Society describes moments of his childhood in the rubble and debris of postwar Vienna, blended with a red ball with which he played on the Jesuit soccer field.

Friederike Mayröcker, b. 1924 in Vienna. Her first works of literature were written in 1939. In 1954, she met the Austrian author Ernst Jandl. They became close friends and later life partners. Her first book was published in 1956. It was followed by poems and prose, short stories and audioplays, children's books and theater scripts. Since 1975, she has published with Suhrkamp. Her many awards include the Georg Büchner Prize (2001) and most recently the Austrian Book Prize (2016) and the Günter Eich Prize (2017). Most recent publications: études (2013, English trans. Donna Stonecipher, Seagull Books 2020), cahier (2014), fleurs (2016), and Pathos und Schwalbe (2018). Lives in Vienna.

Robert Schindel, b. 1944 in Bad Hall. Author of poetry and prose. In the 1960s, following the example of the Berlin student movement, he was one of the founders of the Kommune Wien, the Vienna Commune, and of the literary journal Hundsblume. He has lived as a freelance writer since 1986, and has a comprehensive body of literary work. His first novel, Gebürtig (Born-Where), was an international success. Member of the Freie Akademie der Künste Hamburg and of the German Academy for Language and Literature. In 2009, he founded the Institute of Language Arts at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, which he directed until 2012. His many honors and awards include the Heinrich Mann Prize (2014). Lives in Vienna.

Festival Opening

© Jonathan Ring

No shadow could be allowed to darken their lives as they imagined them. They were terrified of the slightest hurt, afraid of fear itself.

Aminatta Forna (SLE/GB) Why the World Needs New Stories
Introduction & Moderation Anne Zauner (festival director)

Aminatta Forna’s childhood was shaped by state terror in post-colonial 1970s Sierra Leone. Repression of the nation’s protest movement forced her to live in hiding. She managed to flee to Great Britain, her second homeland, after her politically active father was executed in a show trial—a story she tells powerfully in her memoir, The Devil that Danced on the Water (2002).
Forna’s processing of the festival theme has not only been literary. In 2002, she developed her own strategy for dealing with fear and founded the Rogbonko Village Project to support various rebuilding initiatives in her Sierra Leone village, which suffered greatly during the civil war of the 1990s.

The keynote will be held in English with German supertitles / Translation: Jacqueline Csuss / Discussion in English

Aminatta Forna, b. 1964 in Glasgow. Forna's parents were divorced. As a child she lived with her father in Sierra Leone. After he was executed in 1975, she was able to flee to her Scottish mother and spent her (pre-)teen years in Great Britain. Forna worked as a BBC journalist from 1989 to 1999, when she began to devote all her time to her own writing. Aminatta Forna has won many prizes and honors for her works—a memoir, The Devil that Danced on the Water (2002), and four novels, Ancestor Stones (2006), The Memory of Love (2010), The Hired Man (2013), and Happiness (2018). Among her prizes and awards are the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (2011) and the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize (2014). In 2017, the Queen appointed her Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Aminatta Forna currently holds the Lannan Foundation Visiting Chair in Poetics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Literaturhaus Wien

Zieglergasse 26A, 1070 Vienna