Monday, December 22, 2014

The silence of the world before BACH

Die Stille der Welt vor Bach

Es muss eine Welt gegeben haben vor
der Triosonate in D, eine Welt vor der a-moll-Partita,
aber was war das für eine Welt?
Ein Europa der großen leeren Räume ohne Widerhall
voll von unwissenden Instrumenten,
wo das Musikalische Opfer und das Wohltemperierte Klavier
noch über keine Klaviatur gegangen sind.
Einsam gelegene Kirchen,
in denen nie die Sopranstimme der Matthäuspassion
sich in hilfloser Liebe um die sanfteren
Bewegungen der Flöte gerankt hat,
wie sanfte Landschaften,
wo nichts zu hören ist als die Äxte alter Holzfäller,
das muntere Bellen starker Hunde im Winter
und Schlittschuhe auf blankem Eis wie ferne Glocken;
die Schwalben, die durch die Sommerluft schwirren,
die Muschel, in die das Kind hineinhorcht,
und nirgends Bach, nirgends Bach.
Die Schlittschuhstille der Welt vor Bach. 

(LARS GUSTAFSSON, dt. V. Reichel)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

(get) the OVERLOOK (hotel) ...

If you drive for about one hour south east of Portland (Oregon), the road starts rising up to hills. The trees will become bigger and the hills turn into giant grey rocks hiding the blank sky. Then it is time to enter the steep slim side road to the left up to the top of a blinding white cone shimmering in the the strong sunlight of a clear autumn day.   

When you finally arrive over the clouds you will soon understand that you are standing on an old vulcano which is part of a chain called Cascadia. In the south you see Mt Jefferson, to the north there is Mt St Helens (last outbreak May 1980). And you are, somewhere inbetween, on Mt Hood. Welcomed by a raven who was waiting for you for a very long time.

And then you see something that seems very familiar to you although you could have never been here before. It does not look nice or friendly at all, so you start wondering why you feel so much at home on a place that you definitly have never been before. Its a giant wooden house, squatting on the stony side of the vulcano.

Not understanding how something absolutely new can feel so very well known you enter the entrance of this broad wooden building ...

It is a special spirit all around. 
A house haunted by people who never were here.


A photo of a new years night suddenly tells you why your memory believes you have been here before. You know this place from a movie. From a very special movie.


All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

 This is the place of the fictive fiction writer Jack Torrance. You never forgot him.

Welcome to the Overlook hotel.

You can check out any time you like. But you can never leave.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The day that changed Germany: Leipzig, 9th October 1989 (Why could the FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL happen?)

How to win a revolution without bloodshed...
East Germany 1989.

Why could the FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL happen?
(And why was everybody suprised about that?)

Video (BBC-Interview, Oct 2014).

Audio (BBC-Interview, extended version, Oct 2014). 

Novel (Rabet, Munich 1999).

History book (The day that changed Germany, Leipzig 2007).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

RABET or How to win a Revolution without bloodshed (novel)

Thist novel about the peaceful revolution of soviet-occupied East-Germany in 1989 was originally published in 1999 in German language with the title: "Rabet oder das Verschwinden einer Himmelsrichtung - Rabet or The Disappearance of a Cardinal Point" (via verbis publishing, Munich). It was translated into Italian and Indonesian languages and partly also into Czech and English.

About the Novel: A German journalist narrates the events in Leipzig from 1987-1990 to his unknown daughter in New York.  Events which he has not talked about in years, absurd stories and the feeling of an era he thought long gone, begin to manifest themselves.  For the first time in German literature the story of the peaceful revolution is told from the perspective of a revolutionary.  The fictional characters exist in an authentic, historic background.  This novel hauntingly describes the interior dynamics of the events which began the German revolution, and the dreams, disenchantment and moments of joy lived by real-life protagonists.  Through this book, it becomes clear how truly these dynamics are still at work today.

Content: Benjamin Grasmann, an aspiring musician from the provinces, breaks out to the East German city of Leipzig.  While there, he falls in love and meets deeply inspirational artists of the Opposition.  He soon finds himself caught up in the opposition's conflicts with the socialist regime.  As small upheavals and demonstrations become commonplace, more and more of his friends are arrested.  The news of his lover's pregnancy arrives at the peak of political conflict, the struggle for supremacy grows inevitable, and not just Leipzig, but the whole of the GDR hangs in the balance.  And Benjamin Grasmann finds himself right in the middle.

Voices about the book:
Martin Jankowski belongs to the most interesting voices of a new generation of East-German writers... (Caroline Wyatt, BBC)

We've had to wait ten years for this book! (Thomas Meyer, Leipziger Volkszeitung)

Rarely have the final scenes of East German history been described in such a realistic and at the same time hilarious manner.” (Wolfgang Engler, Sociologist, director of the Ernst Busch Actors School Berlin) 

"Very authentic ... describes how young people in particular in Leipzig fought against the system froze - and it finally brought to falter." (STERN Extra 4/2009, "Against the wall in the head") of the few novels in which the European dimension of the revolution is expressed... the representation of the split between those protesters willing to leave and those who wanted to stay is seems to be a legend of change contrary to events. Jankowski is one of the few authors who makes not only critical, but ironic commentary." (Frank Thomas Grub, Wende und Einheit im Spiegel der deutschsprachigen Literatur 2003, de Gruyter Berlin New York)

Jankowski is making his way into German literature... (Sabine Neubert, ND-Kultur)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

On Indonesian Literature ...

With Indonesia, a country will present itself as guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair in the fall of 2015 (the world's lagest book fare in general), wich's literature in the Western perception plays only a minor role and is a widely unknown in the global literature. This > big Unknown < Martin Jankowski approaches in his new book »Reading Indonesia" by various essays and interviews and takes a closer look at the stylistically and geographically extremely high contrasted heterogeneous literary landscape of the country. Discussions, articles and essays (2002-2014) explore the social background of the Indonesian literature's cultural complexity and provide an introductory overview of this overwhelmingly large scene.

Release date: 17 September 2014. (
195 pages, paperback, size 210 x 130 mm, ISBN 978-3-940132-66-6, In German language. MORE.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

bossa nova berlim - for my brazilian friends

a  festa dos segundos

as ruas dançam nuas e azuis
a hora tem o gosto quente do chá que revigora
as lâmpadas brilham ensolaradas como um bosque no outono
e as idéias têm o frescor da neve da manhã
tão-somente com as mãos limpamos os sentidos
embaçados como janelas pela chuva ácida
vagamos irrefreáveis pelo oceano do tempo
e pressentimos que a tempestade não vai passar
não vai passar

do rádio despenca o silêncio
na cabeça rouco e cósmico arde o jazz
tecemos um agasalho com a poeira  das ruas
e celebramos a festa dos segundos
a dama para quem recordar é dever
entristece e fica rija como sal
rimos e dançamos em torno da estátua
e por fim explode o coração

sobre a mesa uma conta que rasgamos
e  vivemos então nossos desejos
não ligamos para a ditadura da maioria
a esperança como princípio é prejuízo
por quanto tempo devemos esperar
por paraísos futuros prometidos
enquanto silenciosos e inexplorados
os melhores dias passaram

não não as ruas dançam nuas e azuis
a hora tem o gosto quente do chá que revigora
as lâmpadas brilham ensolaradas como bosque no outono
e as idéias têm o frescor da neve da manhã
(tradução de Carlos Abbenseth e Antonio Martins)

Thursday, April 3, 2014


rimbaud on java

what means a word compared to
what happens between heaven and earth (jürgen ploog)

forget paris
                        pupils shine
towards inside
skin burns
towards inside
hair stings    
to be ablaze

frees himself with maniac
thunderstorms of sound

farewell mother away from charleville
arrested in vienna deported to italy
in hamburg he falls into the claws of
dutch fishers of men

one must enslave the stars
and off to java as foreign legionnaire

the island in the scent of fever
as soon as landed he throws away
all abominations uniform and musket
sink into the swamp behind the barrack

he disappears into the jungle
of silent villages and rice terraces
smokes kretek tobacco in the shadow of the sky
circle children and buffalos
he with the women listens
to the hammering and croaking
a cheerful intermezzo
on the way to

later escape on a drunken ship
at the cape of good hope he jumps
into whirling water without a word

swimming he looks for the