torsdag, oktober 18, 2018

Oversætterseminar I, 4. november kl. 13-16

Harald Voetmann
Athena Farrokhzad & Svetlana Cârstean
Peter Laugesen

Oversætterseminar II, 25. november kl. 13-16

Emma Bess, Emeli Bergman & Andreas Amdy Eckhardt-Læssøe
Jenny Tunedal & Julie Sten-Knudsen
Morten Chemnitz & Johanne Lykke Holm

Anne Carson skriver i kapitlet Cassandra Float Can fra digtsamlingen FLOAT: »Whenever I am engaged on a translation project I experience continually, offside my vision, a sensation of veils flying up«. 
Hvad Carson sigter til med denne passage, er sprogets iboende sprækker og umulighed og oversættelsesprocessens medfølgende uoversættelighed, der pludseligt viser sig frem i arbejdet som et slør, der blæser væk og blotlægger teksten.

VEILS FLYING UP er en undersøgelse af, hvad den oversættende digter bestræber sig på.

Der er inviteret digtere, der ved siden af deres digtning har et oversættervirke. De vil tale om deres oversættelsesprocesser, om oversættelsesstrategier og oversættelsens politiske potentiale, om principper og programmer, om forskydninger og hvilke møder, der opstår, men også om sprogtab: når digteren falder ned i det mellemrum, der er mellem to sprog, hvor hverken det ene eller det andet kan nås.

At arrangementet finder sted netop på Thorvaldsens Museum er ikke tilfældigt. Få danskere er så ofte blevet hyldet i digtningen som billedhuggeren Bertel Thorvaldsen – i utallige former og
på utallige sprog.

VEILS FLYING UP er et samarbejde mellem Terrapolis og Thorvaldsens Museum.

Entré (inkl. museumsadgang, kaffe, kage og boggave): 125 kroner
Begge seminarer: 200 kr.
Billetter kan købes på

Støttet af Statens Kunstfond

mandag, oktober 15, 2018


In the serie of travel letters from The Balkans written exclusively for Kornkammer are Notes from Bosnia-Herzegovina from the Norwegian writer Øyvind Berg, and from the Danish writer Peder Frederik Jensen; the Swedish writer Ola Ståhl also has a post scriptum from Sarajevo, and goes through Skopje, but writes primarily from Kosovo. And below the Canadian writer Jay MillAr just sent us a travel letter from Macedonia, together with two poems written in Croatia.


It is so interesting to be the only person from North America at a European poetry festival. The concerns are very different and there are so many languages that are not in competition with each other (as opposed to a dominant language that competes with itself). And I’m not sure, because it’s only the second day and I’ve only been immersed a short time, but it’s very possible that the major difference between North American poetry and European poetry is the influence of Capitalism.

I can’t pretend to be an expert on anything, especially Capitalism, and in particular North American Capitalism because it is an atmosphere I exist in. One does not pay a lot of attention to the air they breathe. Why that is I’m not sure. But somehow the air seems different here at this festival, in that I’ve noticed it, the literary airs, and Capitalism as I understand it’s influence on writers appears to play less of a role in what I’m experiencing. Is it because there is a lack of pop culture references? Or to a literary tradition I am familiar with as a Canadian? It might be some simple thing, like not having a lot of context for any of the poetry I’m experiencing. As for literary celebrity, being a part of celebrity culture, it is surely influenced by capital. Yet I am not experiencing celebrity here, although there is a forest of trees that has been planted over the years in the town of Struga, one tree for each of the poets honoured with the annual Golden Wreath (Margaret Atwood has a tree in this forest, the only Canadian and one of perhaps two or three women to be so honoured), and this does not mean that the poets attending the festival are not literary celebrities in their own countries.

My thoughts here come under the influence of a gathering of differences, after all — many cultures that I do not interact with on a regular basis, and in some cases know nothing about, all sharing their work and thoughts in languages I do not understand. Since being here I have spent hours sitting through poetry readings in various languages that are then presented in translation, but in another language I don’t understand. English is not the dominant poetic voice here — 2 out of 30 poets work in English, and neither are from North America. Yet everyone communicates in English off stage, which is interesting to experience too — as though English has become the international language of exchange (Capitalism) more than a language of artistic expression. And there is little in the way of celebrity because no one is in their own milieu. It is different (to me) than being at a festival in North America where the population of writers working in a single language is huge, and capitalism is a driving force (the atmosphere), so competition plays a significant role, and as a result there can only be different levels of success. But again, I’m saying this immersed in something different, that being a literary festival where writers from different backgrounds are all presented more or less at the same level. Which makes me think that literary celebrity might be something that happens within a given culture, which also means a specific language (even in Canada, with two official languages, Quebec literature and Anglais literature have little to do with each other). This is especially true among poets, who as artists do not cross borders easily, so specific is their use of language to their immediate culture. And for languages other than English, being translated into English is a significant measure of success, i.e. Capital, and in fact having at least some work translated into English is a requirement for an invitation to Struga Poetry Evenings.


Today we drove from Struga to Skopje for the last night of the festival. About half an hour from Skopje we stopped in Mitke where we got off the bus and were told to start walking up a valley along a river to a dam, and then beyond. Along the way a few of the poets and myself, who were a little hungry and tired from staying up far too late the night before involved in a slightly drunken singalong (something that I don’t think could actually be possible at any of the Canadian festivals -- Canadians would be proud that Leonard Cohen songs were on high rotation) on the terrace of Hotel Drim (and this after a night swim around 1:30am), and we joked that perhaps we were being made to endure a physical representation of an Adam Zagajewski poem, quietly enduring life along an
isolated path with other poets. And then marvelled at the possibility that Struga Poetry Evenings might actually honour their yearly laureate with a secret performance of such endurance, tailored to the work of the poet. And then we arrived at the end of the trail at a lovely restaurant where we were served an excellent meal with fine wine and then we had another poetry reading with some wonderfully unexpected surprises and poetry shenanigans. And then we all wandered back down to the bus and headed for the hotel. Now we are all walking downtown to the square where we will enjoy a final night of poetry.


After another three and a half hour long reading last night we all went back to the hotel for a late dinner. There was a general sense amongst the group — we would be saying goodbyes now, but there was something else too — as though we had all come through something incredible and profound, and were now on the other side, weary and perhaps even quietly sad, and I marvelled at the generosity of the festival team — it was because of their hospitality we have had such an experience, and in the name of poetry: A rare thing. And then staying up late talking with Martin and Josef (the walking poet of Prague — I was told that he has walked every street in Berlin), it was decided that the three of us would get up in the morning to walk into the old part of Skopje. But when I woke up I wondered if I should go back to bed — it had been many nights with little sleep and I didn’t have to catch my ride to the airport until 12:30. But I did anyway and met the others in the lobby and I snarfed down some food and coffee and off we went.

Skopje was curiously quiet at 9:00 in the morning — it was as though the apocalypse had happened. There were very few people on the street, and the shops were all closed. Even the square in the middle of the town that had been so lively the night before, full of curiously bold and overblown statues and fountains lit up dramatically to evoke the nation, was quiet and mildly unimpressive, as though they needed dramatic lighting and many jostling people to be effective. But on the other side of that we fell into the old town, and it was a little more lively there, but not so much that a stray cat couldn’t sit at a table at a cafe, licking  itself contentedly and still be served no coffee, and the streets were delightful in that way they can be when they are clearly very old and were made for human traffic long before the idea of a car existed in everyone’s mind. We poked around and found somewhere to have a coffee, and then Josef had to head back to the hotel to catch his ride to the airport to return to The Czech Republic. 

So Martin and I wandered around a little more and I bought some postcards with the small amount of cash I had left; Martin bought some souvenirs for his kids. We left the old town and stood in a little raised parkette that was devoid of people but full of the sound of a cat we couldn’t see bemoaning something.

Moving on we looked at more “state maintenance” statues and monuments, and noted how state buildings and monuments were pristine and kept up while other buildings, often neighbouring buildings to the state buildings, were not. It was all very curious to see. I had been carrying around with me a parcel that I’d brought with me from Canada containing a contract and a copy of a novel we had sold into the Macedonian market to a small publisher called Feniks — I had thought I’d mail it when visiting, but when I discovered that their address was very close to the hotel we were staying at, I decided to try to drop it off and failing that find a post office to mail it. There was time so we started heading that way on our way back to the hotel. Finding the address was easy enough, but the building was locked up and there seemed to be no sign of the publisher anywhere. We were going to give up when an older gentleman came out of the building carrying a few sacks of what seemed to be toys and we asked if he knew of Feniks and he replied, speaking in a slow and careful English that he knew the people who ran it. But today was a holiday and everything was closed (including post offices) and people were away. He introduced himself as Tomislav and invited us up to his apartment where he said we could find their phone number and call them — maybe they would be able to meet us. So we went with him up to his apartment on the fourth floor and we managed to figure out how to call the publisher and I spoke with her and she was very surprised to hear from me. She was away for the day but we made arrangements for Tomislav to hold the package for her until she was back from holiday. And then he said that business was over, so we should have a drink, and he went away for a minute and came back with three glasses, ice, and whiskey. We had a drink and talked — he showed us pictures of his family, his wife and daughter and grandson, and told us about his summer home in Ohrid and his camper in Greece where he had just spent a month by the sea. He asked about where we were from and when he found out that we were poets in Macedonia for the festival he told us his father had worked for the festival years ago. Martin and Tomislav spoke in German for a bit while I felt like a mono-linguistic fool — Tomislav said his German was much better than his English because he had friends there, but I thought his English was very good — slow, perhaps, but accurate. It was way better than my Macedonian at any rate. We talked a little longer and he said if we missed our flights we should just come back and he would help us, and we exchanged contact information and took a photo to mark the occasion. And then we thanked him for his generosity, shook hands, and said goodbye to scuttle off to the hotel to catch our ride to the airport, remarking at what a hospitable fellow Tomislav was, to take the to time bring two total strangers from distant lands into his home and assist them with a small task as he did, despite clearly being on his way out somewhere. His Macedonian generosity really did make the end of our stay in this country a special one.


Two guys are playing heavy metal tunes 
on the steps of one of the university buildings: 
Back in Black, Sweet Child of Mine — 
except it’s a clarinet and guitar duo 
what could possibly be next? 

But they don’t play anything next, 
they just pack up their shit and leave, 
which makes sense because it is late, 
maybe ten thirty on a Tuesday. 
Moments later they are back — 
they set up and start playing again, but 
it’s as though they are a totally different band — 
same instruments, different goals, playing 
a lulling melodic pop song I don’t recognize. 
Maybe it’s a Croatian hit — after all 
I’m in Zagreb. 
                         Sometimes it’s important 
to feel lonely and detached, dropped into 
a place where you don’t know where 
you are or where you are going or why. 
It’s even better if you can’t speak the 
language or understand the signs: 
you just make it all up as you go along. 

This is the university, sure it is.
These are the cafés that 
you surely came to see.
This the botanical garden. 
Now you are passing the capital 
building, this is the train station, 
here is an important sculpture 
of cultural significance, now 
you are free. 


There is a plane in the sky.
It could be a reflection of the plane
I am in, which is also in the sky.
I could be looking around the planet
At myself seated at the window
Of a plane looking off 
In the distance at myself. 


Jay MillAr (born 1971) is a Canadian poet and co-publisher at Book*hug Press. He lives in Toronto. His newest book, I Could Have Pretended To Be Better Than You: New & Selected Poems is forthcoming from Anvil Press in 2019. This text is written directly for Kornkammer, ind more travelreportages from the Balkans here.

tirsdag, oktober 09, 2018

Ordkonst söker bidrag till tema Dagbok

Kära dagbok,

Vad skulle hända om någon läste dig?

Den klassiska dagboken kan sägas ha formen av ett stängt rum, där vi träder in när vi är fyllda med obearbetade intryck. Det kan vara ett redskap för att reda ut, skapa överblick och uttrycka de allra starkaste känslorna. Här samlas kanske dina drömmar om framgång, listor på personer du helst vill strypa, dina senaste ligg, oro inför framtiden eller tankar som har väckts av ett spännande samtal. Vad skriver du om? Vem skriver du för?

Sociologen Erving Goffman menade att vi bär olika masker i offentligheten för att skydda vårt jag – det innersta och mest privata. Det är endast i avskildheten som maskerna faller av. Kan dagboksskrivandet således vara ett sätt att se sig själv, så som en egentligen är? Likafullt kan dagboken också vara en plats där vi gömmer oss och förställer berättelsen om oss själva.

Vi är intresserade av dagboken som litterärt fenomen och tror att den kan belysa förhållandet mellan det offentliga/privata på många sätt. Vad är skillnaden mellan att skriva till sig själv och att skriva för andra? Vi är nyfikna på vad ni tänker om de nya dagboksformerna som har vuxit fram på sociala medier. Med mobilkameror, appar och interaktiva plattformer finns större möjligheter än någonsin att utforska vardagens estetik. Det väcker också frågor om identitet och performativitet, om fiktion och verklighet.

Som genre är dagboken ständigt aktuell. Bara nu i år har vi sett Ulf Lundell reflektera över sitt liv i boken Vardagar, Wera von Essen beskriva refuseringsbrev och den arbetsprocess som följde i En debutants dagbok, och Siri Johanssons beskrivningar av tio år i enskildhet blivit publicerade postumt i Ensamhet är värst.

Sommaren 2018 uppmanade Svenska Dagbladet sina läsare att skicka in sina dagboksanteckningar som en del i deras sommarserie “Kära Dagbok”. Precis som SvD är vi övertygade om att era dagböcker utgör stor litteratur. Vi söker bidrag till tema DAGBOK! Det kan vara allt ifrån mobilbilder, korta bektraktelser av vardagligheter, till dokumentation över åren.

Ordkonst är Akademiska Föreningens litterära utskott med säte i Lund. Vi publicerar skönlitterära texter, essäer, recensioner, fotografier och illustrationer, men också andra experimentella former av litteratur och bild. Även sådant som inte är relaterat till temat är intressant. Se bara till att inte skriva med ditt namn i dokumentet då inskickat material bedöms anonymt. 

Skicka ditt bidrag till: senast den 28 oktober.

mandag, oktober 08, 2018


Knud Romer samtaler noget nær en fuld time med Karsten Sand Iversen om litteratur, det er en sand fornøjelse – hvis man er interesseret i forfattere som Robert Walser, Bruno Schulz, Bohumil Hrabal, Dylan Thomas, James Joyce, Rainer Marie Rilke, Herta Müller og mange flere – som for eksempel Vladislav Vancura, der nok lyder som et spændende bekendtskab, jeg personligt glæder mig til at gøre. Samtalen foregår til dels ovenpå Sand Iversens tre bøger Skyggebiblioteket, Omskrivninger og ikke mindst, den seneste; Tid af jern og ild. 

Her kan man høre programmet!

Democracy in Europe

Interesting, is it not, that two European countries within the last weeks have chosen to use their democratic right to not vote in order to fight their governments, and to not validate their, in different ways, extreme decisions, by simply #boycotting the elections.

#Macedonia #Romaina

In a few days Kornkammer will publish a short travel letter from Macedonia by the Canadian writer and publisher Jay MillAr, written before the Macedonian referendum took place, visiting the famous Struga Poetry Evenings.

lørdag, oktober 06, 2018

For et par dage siden var jeg i Radio 24/7 og tale om og læse op fra Læsesteder det kan man høre her, hvis man har lyst, ca. 28 minutter inde – og jeg snakker og snakker og snakker; men jeg læser også op – men oplæsningen er åndssvagt nok blevet skåret over, midt i det hele, et tilfældigt sted, æv altså, så nedenfor kan man  læse hele  teksten, hvis man skulle have lyst. Og her kan man høre mig snakke og snakke, ovre på DR, hvor jeg også læser nogle et par andre læsesteder op og i deres helhed.


I krydset mellem Nordre Fasanvej og Godthåbsvej på Frederiksberg i København, ligger der på det ene hjørne en ældreklub, på det andet en butik der sælger ting til 10 kroner stykket, på det tredje hjørne, bag en imposant marmorfacade, ligger en slikbutik – tidligere lå der en bank – og skråt overfor den; en gul, halvhøj mur. Jeg tænker altid på farven på den mur som karryfarvet, selvom: det er den nok ikke. Hver gang jeg cykler eller går eller kører forbi, på vej til mit kontor, kigger jeg på den og tænker: karryfarvet, og så: karryfarvet som i et maleri af Samuelsson, og så tænker jeg på Stig Larsson, den svenske digter, hans særlige stil, diktionen når han læser op og som man ikke kan undgå at tage med sig ind i bøgerne, når først man én gang har hørt den. Jeg stod i det kryds, jeg ved ikke hvorfor, må vel have ventet på nogen, et underligt sted at stå, foran banken. Jeg læste det nye nummer af Den Blå Port, nummer 63/2004, hvor Lars Frost havde oversat et uddrag af den suite der på dansk er kommet til at hedde "Carryfarven i et maleri af Samuelsson". Suiten er fra digtbogen Helhjärtad tanke, som, kan jeg se på mine noter i bogen, jeg købte antikvarisk samme år, efter at have læst det dér uddrag, efter at have hørt den dér stemme. Jeg ved ikke engang hvem denne Samuelsson er! Alligevel tænker jeg, når jeg passerer det kryds, altid, den mur: Karryfarvet som i et maleri af Samuelsson. I bogen kan man se Henrik Samuelssons malerier og farver, men ikke i tidsskriftet, og derfor forbinder jeg dem ikke med teksten, ikke med krydset på Frederiksberg, for det var det jeg læste dér, tidsskriftet, kiggede op, overrasket, ikke mindst over at nogen kan skrive som Larsson gør, selvom det ikke var første gang jeg stødte på hans poesi, overrasket over at det fungerer, det burde det ikke gøre, men det gør det. Det var som et syn eller en rusken, enelleranden kropslig oplevelse, og jeg kiggede op og prøvede at tænke over hvad jeg havde læst og mit blik mødte den mur, den gule mur, muligvis karryfarvet. Og med dette som for mig er den stærkeste umiddelbare anbefaling af en tekst, en forfatter – at jeg får lyst til at skrive på grund af det jeg har læst, en lyst til at formulere mig, med tryk på lyst (ikke på mig). Egentlig er det en særlig syntaks, et særligt temperament, et blik jeg forbinder med karryfarven på den mur, og en sommerdag, fordi det var sommer da jeg stod dér og læste den. Syntaks, temperament, blik, hvad teksten får øje på hvordan, dens særlige sans for overraskelser, det man også kunne kalde for den litterære stemme. Stig Larssons er mere distinkt end de flestes. Faktisk skriver han selv om forfatterens stemme, det husker jeg ikke fra første gang jeg læste teksten, men ser det nu, hvor jeg genlæser den, tydeligt, under overskriften: "Skildring af rum som forfattere har tilført". Han skriver om stemmen i en tekst som måden noget er tænkt på, en særlig stil, en bestemt aura, en måde at være i verden på. En forfatter som Stig Larsson, som jeg opfatter ham, er en forfatter der i særlig høj grad prøver at få alting med, alle overvejelser, i flere led, eftertanken, erindringen, at stille spørgsmål ved genfortællingen, om det nu også kan være rigtigt at det fandt sted på den måde, kan det virkelig være rigtigt husket, hvorfor skulle det i givet fald have forholdt sig sådan. Men også, han er en vældig taktil forfatter, de sanselige detaljer er vigtige, eller: jeg er ikke sikker på at han ville kalde det detaljer. Sagen selv. Farver og dufte, smagen, lyden, og ikke mindst, særligt, så besværligt, at prøve at være præcis omkring fornemmelser og skift i stemninger, de indre og i rummet, det relationelt antydede, det der næsten ikke er der, at insistere på at dét var det, at ville holde fast i det, vise det frem; hvad vi føler og tænker og tror, hvad vi synes blot at kunne fornemme, vores tvivl, hvad vi spiste, det er alt sammen lige så virkeligt og virkeligt tilstede som, ja, som alt andet. Hvad vi har læst, hvor, hvordan vejret var, hvem vi var dengang, når vi kommer forbi det sted igen eller tænker på det, det farver vores oplevelser af verden.

Frank Zappa explains the decline of the music business

[tak til Johanne Thorup Dalgaard]