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Fiction

Language can never be private
Language can never be private

Johannes Binotto

Shrewing the Tame

Speaking of taming and speaking against it has to begin with getting the word itself to speak. “Tame”—the puzzling expression goes back to the etymological root it shares with “dam,” “timber,” and the German “Zimmer” (room). Taming, as is clear from the etymology, is an act of containment, separation, and adaption. What has once been tamed now has its own place, its own chamber, in which it no longer even needs to be confined, because it permanently carries its room...
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  • feminism
  • gender
  • subjectification
  • Shakespeare
  • language
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Dietmar Dath

Do you want to believe in language?

Asleep, Patrick sees what he doesn’t believe while he’s awake.

The index calculates everything. Announcements of awards, mostly false, light up then die. His dopamine balance feeds the list. Limbic structures support it. Brain means house, should have windows. But they’re slow shutter pictures of the past.

 

Five minutes past four, Patrick is woken up by a noise. He’s lying in the small room. Renate is sleeping in the big one.

“Maybe I’ll get an idea during the night,” he had justified his move to the couch, “Then I’ll have to send it to them. We’re sending the thing off tomorrow.” He was afraid of saying what he knew about Kerstin in his sleep, while lying next to Renate. In the darkness he feels the room buzzing at him. His brain answers the hum, singing sugar and protein, talking perineural network that controls the form and function of the synapses which guide all...

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Jochen Thermann

I really should not have hired him…

I really should not have hired him, but he seemed like he could fill in for my regular cook. Schneider had called in sick it seemed like it could drag on, so I took him on without too much fuss. He was a stocky, small man who could speak only broken German. At the end of the day, business had to go on, and the guests were hungry.

The complex relationships that you maintain often are unclear, even to yourself. So too the code that goes along with them. It is hard to decipher. It is only when things go off the rails that you recognize how well the self-regulation mechanisms were working: how Schneider would organize his purchases, how he would talk to the staff, how he put together the ingredients, and how truly he was interested in keeping business humming.

On the surface, the assistant chef worked in the same...

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Angelika Meier

Your story begins with a tunnel.

I’m standing in my perfectly fitting uniform with its freshly-pressed swastika armband in a long line at an American office. I’m waiting to submit my Application for Total War. Then, after standing in line for hours, the friendly clerk tells me that I need The Application for Foreign Aggressions in the next office over. Since I’m a depressed fascist, I don’t keep my chin up for long—despite my spiffy brown uniform—so I decide that’s enough for today and to try again tomorrow. The very next morning, I’m valiantly standing in the correct line, but then I’m missing some paperwork for the correct submission of my Application for Total War. Besides a birth certificate (the original, no copies allowed!), I’m still missing two recommendation letters from American citizens. Five are necessary. But—I thought just three… No, five in total! With a smile, the clerk raises her right hand, her fingers spread...

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“Obsessed with buffering”
“Obsessed with buffering”

Tom McCarthy

Recessional—Or, the Time of the Hammer

Towards the end of Thomas Pynchon’s mammoth 1973 novel Gravity’s Rainbow, the stumbling ingénue of a hero Tyrone Slothrop sets off on a commando raid. The territory he and his cohorts move through is a giant ­metropolis, a “factory-state” in which capital, technology and power, perfectly co-calibrated, send airships drifting through urban canyons, past chrome caryatids and roof-gardens on skyscrapers that themselves shoot up and down on ­elevator-cables: a conurbation ­Pynchon calls the “City of the Future” or “Raketen-Stadt.” The...
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  • literary studies
  • Modernism
  • literature
  • fiction
  • conversation
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Jean-Luc Nancy

غریبه‌ها غریبه‌ها

Etrange (غریب) در زبان فرانسوی از ریشه لاتین extraneus به معنای «خارجی» در برابر داخلی intraneus است. آنچه از خانه نیست unheimlich (امر غریب) از heim (خانه) نیست از منزل نیست در طرف دیگر دروازه fores است foreigner (خارجی)، خارج از ضرب و زیادی است odd (زاید) ناهنجار نامعمول نادر کمیاب تکی است seltsam (عجیب) عجیب و غریب besherat رشید ظریف پراوهام خمیده‌‌ verschroben (بد خو) خمیده شگفت‌ آور خارق‌ العاده حیرت‌ انگیز

غنای زبان امری غریب است در کلماتی که به نحوی حولِ مفهومِ غریبِ خارجی ausländer شکل گرفته اند خارج از کشور «هم‌‌ کشور ما» همانگونه  که پیش‌ تر در فرانسه می‌ گفتیم «این کشور من است» برای اشاره به کسی از روستای من محله‌ ی من استان من ولایت من

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