Festival Neue Literatur: Up, Up and Away

Where: Austrian Cultural Forum, 11 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

Free and open to the public

Authors: Joseph O’Neill, María Cecilia Barbetta, Perikles Monioudis
In conversation with Daniela Strigl and Klaus Nüchtern

For we can fly we can fly
Up, up and away
My beautiful, my beautiful balloon
Jimmy Webb: “Up, Up and Away”

Large or small? Near or far? Urban or provincial? Sometimes it’s a question of perspective. Perikles Monioudis (Land, Paladium, Eis) was born in Glarus, Switzerland, a town of less than 6,000 inhabitants, as the son of Greek parents from cosmopolitan Alexandria. María Cecilia Barbetta travelled from her native Buenos Aires to Berlin, ended up staying, and wrote her debut novel, Änderungsschneiderei Los Milagros in German. And Joseph O’Neill (Netherland), of Irish-Turkish extraction, grew up in the Netherlands, where he attended the Lycée Française and the British School. It goes without saying that a person with this kind of background couldn’t live anywhere else but the famous Chelsea Hotel – with his family. As different as the origins, paths, and aesthetic sense of these writers may be, they share a spirited take on the colorful (and dark) sides of cultural transfer, whether forced, accepted, or deliberate. María Cecilia Barbetta summed it up aptly in an interview: “I’m at home where Argentina and Germany meet. But you won’t find that place on any ordinary map.”

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