Writing about my grandfather

June 17, 2007 at 4:10 pm | Posted in Writing | 4 Comments
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I am currently working on a piece about my grandfather, grandfathers in general, and I need to finish it soon, as I intend to read it on my good bye lecture next Sunday. It’s going to be tough, though, I weep easily, and it’s a cruel, sentimental piece and I start to weep while writing it, how am I supposed to read it then? Might need the help of Greg. It’s not even about things that I have witnessed myself, it’s about how I imagine that things might have happened at a time when I wasn’t even born (and at one point I’ll have to write about WW2, that’s going to be tough) and about things that happened while I was away. Of course I’m dramatizing things, that’s what I’m good at:-) But need to learn to read this without crying.

Marlene Streeruwitz rocks!

June 11, 2007 at 7:16 am | Posted in Literature, Women, Writing | 2 Comments
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On the 2nd day of the women’s writer forum, Marlene Streeruwitz spoke in a so-called panel discussion – why they called it a panel discussion I don’t know. The other woman who was invited to join the panel did not say anything substantial, but instead kept asking Marlene insidious, stupid questions (such as: “when is the female writer happy?” arf) or said banal things about her novels (“I find it difficult to identify with your characters”). I think the “discussion” lasted about an hour (with a moderator also taking a seat on stage) and I enjoyed every little piece that Mrs Streeruwitz said. I am unable to reproduce any of it, the general topic was ‘happiness’ and ‘feminine writing’ (as expected – but with a different twist), and the first thing that pleased me was her laid-back, almost cheerful manner – nothing of the slightly frustrated feminist that I thought to have noted the day before. She used the words ‘hegemony’ and ‘hegemonial’ about 20 times, and I doubt that only half of the people in the room understood what she was talking about, but it spoke to me and I drank all her words. She shook off all those banal questions and gave long, but elaborate and witty,often even funny responses – I am really looking forward to hearing more from her in the days to come.Btw: She also completed a PhD recently, at an American university – I need to find out with whom and about what exactly and add the info to Wikipedia.

I’m going to the Women Authors’ Forum!

April 16, 2007 at 6:41 pm | Posted in Literature, Novel, Women, Writing | 10 Comments
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I really won me a place in the Autorinnenforum! Sometimes life is just to good to be true – my endorphin levels were already ridiculously high after being accepted at the Microlearning conference, and now I am in for another Writer’s high.

Now, this one is by far the higher one. When I came home from work today, I had two big envelopes in the post: my weekly subscription of the SPIEGEL and another one, soon to be identified as a message from the Forum. Interesting looking envelopes are normally ripped open right away, but I didn’t dare to do that today. It’s not that I have participated a lot or in any significant writing competitions so far (this definitely being the most important one), but if I really think back hard, there might have been two or three or even more, most of which are already blissfully forgotten or repressed;-)

But the sight of the envelope brought back those feelings of disappointment and irrelevance that always followed the arrival of mail from the organizers of such competitions. In the past of course, the envelopes were the small ones – the sight of a BIG envelope immediately kindled the hope that it might after all come true: That I might be among the few chosen ones. And I didn’t want to open the envelope too fast, I wanted to hold on to that sweet sensation…

…and I don’t think I’ve ever been engulfed in a similarly delirious emotion like I was in the first twenty seconds after realizing that I was indeed invited to join the forum:-) YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! Still can’t believe it – and hope it’s not too late to respond, because they request the registration form back by April 16 – which is today. Then again, the message was only mailed on Friday the 13th (my lucky day from now on;-) so I must have been on the waiting list. Double lucky me!!!

Ok, and here’s the deal: The forum takes place in Berlin, from the 9th until the 14th of June, it includes a festive opening night, a symposium and three days of writing workshops. Woah! 548 women entered their texts, 60 were chosen. There’s also prize money to give away on which I shan’t put any hopes, as a likely waiting list candidate, but the workshop (as a first trigger to the shaping of my writer personality) was what I was in for anyway:-) I signed up for short story (1st wish), novel (2nd wish) and drama (3rd wish).

HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORAY!

Plato: Socrates and Phaedrus about Writing 37/40

April 5, 2007 at 3:13 am | Posted in Literature, Writing | 11 Comments
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SOCRATES: Yes, because there’s something odd about writing, Phaedrus, which makes it exactly like painting. The offspring of painting stand there as if alive, but if you ask them a question they maintain an aloof silence. It’s the same with written words: you might think they were speaking as if they had some intelligence, but if you want an explanation of any of the things they’re saying and you ask them about it, they just go on and on forever giving the same single piece of information. Once any account has been written down, you find it all over the place, hobnobbing with completely inappropriate people no less than with those who understand it, and completely failing to know who it should and shouldn’t talk to. And faced with rudeness and unfair abuse it always needs its father to come to its assistance, since it is incapable of defending or helping itself.

Plato: Phaedrus. Translated by Robin Waterfield. Oxford University Press 2002, p. 70.

Lent “Daily” Lent – Day 37: Easter is coming soon! Soon I will be stuffing my face with cake, Wiener Schnitzel and Jagertee! Cookies, Brathendl and beer! Espresso with sugar, Gulasch and Blaufränkisch!

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