Oh brother, where have all the translations gone? To no man’s land!

When Marcus Roloff asked me to translate some of his poems into English for publication in Germany, it took me a whole millisecond to agree.

Marcus lives as a writer and antiquarian bookseller in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

His recently published collection im toten winkel des goldenen schnitts (gutleut verlag) is an amazing book, both poetically and typographically. Marcus writes the way I’d imagine Pantha du Prince songs circa 2004 would read if all the notes were words. What I’m trying to say is that Marcus is the kind of poet who went out into the desert and came back to the city with a more expansive Truth and a de-centred self, clandestine urban operettas and a big ole bassline.

We’d previously worked together translating his work for the first edition of The Diamond & the Thief.

no man’s land features first-ever translations of fiction and poetry by some of the finest writers working in German today. It’s a virtual no man’s land between languages and cultures – one which, like the former no man’s land of the Berlin Wall, is now open for exploration. no man’s land’s partner magazine lauter niemand has been a fixture of Berlin’s alternative literary scene since 1996.

My translations of Marcus’ poems my gleiwitz and bora appear in issue 5.

Oh(!) and just quietly, when I found out Ann Cotten launched issue 5 the other night in Berlin, I swooned with disbelief. Oh me, oh my! Ann Cotten!

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10 Comments

Filed under Germany, Poetry, Published, Translation

10 responses to “Oh brother, where have all the translations gone? To no man’s land!

  1. wonderful
    and very nice to discover more poetry around here.
    I’ve found my self at Konstanz last week because of work and discovered there was a poetry festival starting the day after which I could not have attained. such a shame.
    I cloudily remember you mentioned before your link to German. Interested to see that. I play many time with the idea of taking my works into German. Only my German is not good enough. Would be so great to be able to read Celan in its origin.

  2. splendid! ‘du Sollst der Werden, der du Bist’! (my german just about begins and ends with that line from nietzsche…) loved this line in the first poem:
    ‘the heimat of school full of empty idols and water
    pistols’.

    david brooks has got a really powerful poem about the ‘bora’ in his latest collection ‘the balcony’, which you will soon see a review of (by me, i loved it THAT much!) on the cordite site, i believe…(he also writes of that windy phenomenon very well in the into to his translations of srecko kosovel [‘the slovenian rimbaud’]. the book’s called ‘the golden boat’).

    http://qarrtsiluni.com are also looking for translations before dec 6, too…

    onya, sonya! [as they say in thonbury]

    • funny you mention Matty, heimat was agonised over as to how to translate. in the end decided best to leave in the German as all translations were ultimately inferior. the slovenian rimbaud, this sounds amazing, must investigate. thanks for the heads up on Qarrtsiluni

  3. Cool, Jeremy, I like the look of Marcus’s work – wish that whole book was translated, I like what I read at the Shark

  4. Pingback: The Sound of the Black Rider: Marcus Roloff | Am I the Black Rider? Yes.

  5. Pingback: Black Rider Podcast 05 – Marcus Roloff and Christian Löffler | Am I the Black Rider? Yes.

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