July 2, 2023 Gorillas, Sad Beaches and a Virus Named the Present. Literature as invention

Photo: me

It was a joy not only to be part of the vibrant International Feelit. Heidelberg International Literature Festival, but also to meet brilliant people behind the scenes – Andrea Edel, the head of the UNESCO City of Literature Heidelberg, who gave the most heart-warming welcome. It was a pleasure to be in conversation with literature critic and novelist Jan Wilm, who has meticulously guided through ‘Gorilla’s Archives’ and sad beaches. The poems were carefully read by Claudia Kramatschek using selected German translations by Claudia Sinnig, Markus Roduner and Cornelius Hell. I’ve missed the readings of Geetanjali Shree (International Booker Prize 2022) and Tsitsi Dangarembga (Man Booker Prize shortlist, 2020 and PEN International Award for Freedom of Expression), but got to listen to spoken poetry from UK, performed by Reece Williams, and I’ve attended utterly inspiring Xiaolu Guo’s talk! Also I took a Philosopher’s walk and visited amazing Prinzhorn Collection (art by people with exceptional psychological experience), which was so overwhelming that I forgot my swimming plans.