Music & Literature no. 9 (Bichsel, Legris)

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ML9_front_cropped_final.jpg

Music & Literature no. 9 (Bichsel, Legris)

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“Many journals seek to bring exposure to underrepresented international artists, but none do so quite like M&L.” —The Culture Trip

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Music & Literature no. 9 features immersive portfolios on two artists who, despite critical achievement in their respective forms, remain largely unknown beyond their native countries—and outsiders within them.

The Swiss-German writer Peter Bichsel is one of the best short-prose stylists of his generation and has earned a devoted following in the German-speaking world for his charming, melancholic stories—yet his work is all but unpublished in English. This portfolio announces the great writer in our own literature through a generous selection of works spanning his entire career, from his short fiction and an excerpt from his enigmatic first novel, translated by Michael Hofmann, to his incisive and often poignant newspaper columns in Lydia Davis’s translation. Candid interviews and a compilation of essays offer insight into the nature of Bichsel’s artistry as it has developed over nearly six decades, highlighting the themes to which he returns time and again: the peculiar history and attitudes of the Swiss, the struggle for inner freedom and the rights of minorities, and the pleasures of reading. A special tribute by Claire-Louise Bennett completes this comprehensive introduction to one of Europe’s most outstanding contemporary storytellers.

Over the past twenty years, Canadian poet Sylvia Legris has quietly built a remarkable, multilayered body of work worthy of deep exploration and appreciation. An artist of relentless evolution and experimentation, Legris’s poetics compress and expand, infusing elements of dance, botany, and human machinery into new structures and imagery that is at once wildly imaginative and deeply visceral. Alongside a retrospective selection of her poetry, capped by a series of new and unpublished works, is an exclusive conversation with fellow pioneer Will Alexander that dives into the mystery of “poetic ignition.” Essays and tributes by several leading young poets imagine—and reimagine—the prismatic Legris across her many forms and permutations, rounding out our most eclectic portfolio to date.

CONTENTS

 

I. PETER BICHSEL

Selected Works of Peter Bichsel

There Is No America / Peter Bichsel, trans. Caroline Schmidt & Daniel Levin Becker

A Table Is a Table / Peter Bichsel, trans. Lydia Davis

Interview Excerpt: On Children’s Stories, trans. Donna Stonecipher

The Goshawk / Peter Bichsel, trans. Madeleine LaRue

Interview Excerpt: First Time in Berlin, trans. Donna Stonecipher

An Excerpt from The Seasons, trans. Michael Hofmann

Interview Excerpt: On Winning the Gruppe 47 Prize, trans. Donna Stonecipher

Introduction to Peter Bichsel’s Columns

A Story Told at the Wrong Time / Peter Bichsel, trans. Lydia Davis

Stupidity Is Power / Peter Bichsel, trans. Lydia Davis

I Don’t Want You to Die / Peter Bichsel, trans. Lydia Davis

Interview Excerpt: We Live in a Society that Suppresses Death…, trans. Donna Stonecipher

Nothing Occurs to Me / Peter Bichsel, trans. Lydia Davis

To Tell about Paris / Peter Bichsel, trans. Lydia Davis

An African Winter Fairy Tale / Peter Bichsel, trans. Lydia Davis

Interview Excerpt: Whenever I See Two People Embracing…, trans. Donna Stonecipher

Johnson Isn’t Coming Today / Peter Bichsel, trans. Lydia Davis

Shall I Translate It for You? / Peter Bichsel, trans. Lydia Davis

My Long Trips to Biel / Peter Bichsel, trans. Lydia Davis

At the End of the Year 2014 / Peter Bichsel, trans. Lydia Davis

A Swiss among Swiss / Peter Bichsel, trans. Adrian Nathan West

The Grammatical Future / Peter Bichsel, trans. Kurt Beals

How German Are the Germans? / Peter Bichsel, trans. Shaun Whiteside

Knowledge Is Resistance / Peter Bichsel, trans. Anne Posten

The Absent War / Peter Bichsel, trans. Kurt Beals

Interview Excerpt: Writing for Willi Ritschard, trans. Donna Stonecipher

Stories of Beginnings and Endings / Peter Bichsel, trans. Anne Posten

Reading / Peter Bichsel, trans. Shaun Whiteside

The Right to Biography / Peter Bichsel, trans. Adrian Nathan West

The Road to Evordes / Peter Bichsel, trans. Donna Stonecipher

Children’s Questions / Peter Bichsel, trans. Donna Stonecipher

Interview Excerpt: Balinese Hinduism, trans. Donna Stonecipher

My Little Farewell to the Great Walser / Peter Bichsel, trans. Anne Posten

The Pleasure of Telling Ourselves the World: An Interview / Daniel Rothenbühler, trans. Daniel Levin Becker

“I Consider Myself Terribly Overrated”: A Conversation with Peter Bichsel / Martin Ebel, trans. Madeleine LaRue

Interview Excerpt: Bad Luck, No Regrets, trans. Donna Stonecipher

Wit and Wile and Love / Peter von Matt, trans. Madeleine LaRue & Daniel Levin Becker

Peter Bichsel Is a Poet / Dorothee Elmiger, trans. Shaun Whiteside

A Little Band of People / Claire-Louise Bennett

[untitled] / Peter Bichsel, trans. Philip Boehm

II. SYLVIA LEGRIS

Selected Works of Sylvia Legris

The Wit of Their Strange Appearance / Aaron Peck

Language Seems to Stoke Itself: A Conversation with Sylvia Legris / Will Alexander

A Selection of Poetry / Sylvia Legris

“Not a notch but a note”: from circuitry of veins to The Hideous Hidden / Rachael Allen

Typus Fever / Nora Collen Fulton

Sylvia the Gardener / Guy Vanderhaeghe

Writing the Body / Jesse Ruddock

Seven Attempts at Describing Sylvia Legris / Shazia Hafiz Ramji

Language at Its Most Distilled / Chuqiao Yang

Some Short Forms for Sylvia Legris / Laura Broadbent