Works Books

De tunna gudarna
(The Thin Gods)

Ache Middler — aging rock musician in exile, ill of health — receives a letter from the woman he spent a night with twelve years ago. It’s the second time she’s writing, now as then about the daughter she had. The woman asks him to examine himself »inside and out.« In twenty letters to his unknown child, Ache describes proud dreams. Years of hunger. His recklessness. What happens if everything in life can become art? Is loneliness the price of independence? How do you grow old in a culture that celebrates youth and its exuberance?A novel about male longing and vulnerability, The Thin Gods takes us from an imaginary Alaska to downtown New York, from Thatcherite London and Berlin after 9/11 to a refugee camp on Europe’s south-eastern edge, and possibly to both hell and heaven. This is a story of nerves and electricity, and of a person set aflame
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A Book about and for Aris Fioretos

»We wanted to make this Festschrift in the manner of Arisʼs own work: both complex and light, poetic and academic, with a contemporary feeling for absurdity and seriousness. We have also wished to make the book in the manner of a tree, with a variety of branches extending in different directions: to writer friends from the international scene, to research and teaching colleagues in Stockholm, as well as artists from various collaborations throughout the years.«
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Poetica 5:
Rausch. States of Euphoria.

What would poetry be without the heavens? There is rarely verse without praise, exaltation, rapture. Inspiration and euphoria are prerequisites, striving to soar remains a given. Since its inception, poetry has seeked the proximity of bliss. Once described as »flights of fancy,« today rapture is rather referred to as a »high.« Seekers of beatitude seem to stop at little to achieve it. The mental meanderings of opium, cocaine’s kicks and the happy face of ecstasy are contemporary catalysts supplementing the muse’s kiss of old. Still the question remains: Where is poetry when it is »far out«? Is there a language for being out of control? And do they truly exist, those artifical paradises?
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Vatten, gåshud
(Water, Gooseflesh)

Attention, abode, line of beauty, jellyfish, eyes, jolts, palms, finitude … By way of a series of desiderata — or »wished-for matter« —Aris Fioretos asks what the art of prose can amount to in times when diversity and transgression are celebrated, but people without papers are still undesired. Can a text offer respite? How is movement created through words? What do omissions have to do with writing, what role does pain play? And what is needed for Medusa’s throat to become the well of literature?
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Mary P. is 23 years old and an architecture student in a country run by the military. Her boyfriend is a political activist and is planning a revolt. One November night in 1973 Mary is arrested for subversive activities. For thirteen days and nights she is held at the notorious headquarters of the security services, the place with Heaven and Minus Two. After that, only one question remains: who decides about a life? Aris Fioretos’ new novel is a tale of passion about a young person’s yearning for freedom, a story of political violence and women’s solidarity. But above all it is about a body – its pain and desire, its yearning and its most secret transformations
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Nelly Sachs, Flight and Metamorphosis

This richly illustrated biography is the first book in English to chronicle the life of Nelly Sachs (1891–1970), recipient of the 1966 Nobel Prize in Literature. The book follows Sachs from her secluded years in Berlin as the only child of assimilated German Jews, through her last-minute flight from the Nazis in 1940, to her exile in “peaceful Sweden” — a time of poverty and isolation, but also of growing fame. Enriched by over 300 images of Sachs’s manuscripts, photographs, and possessions, Nelly Sachs, Flight and Metamorphosisnot only offers detailed insights into the contexts of Sachs’s formation as a writer, but also looks at themes of trauma and testimony in her central works
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Avtalad tid

Over a period of nearly twenty years, Aris Fioretos and Durs Grünbein have arranged meetings with each other — in the television tower at Alexanderplatz on one occasion, among the sand dunes of the Mojave Desert on another. In this book they salvage the remnants of those meetings. Five rambling conversations, in which they ponder dogs’ games with bones and the value of money, but also get drunk in a deserted New York and dream of flying fish while on the ferry to Drottningholm. Every now and then they even show their hand, exchanging memories from their earliest encounter with letters — the beginning of the great literary adventure
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Halva solen
(Half the Sun)

It happens all the time. A parent dies. A child mourns. But how often does this particular person die? And how does one reciprocate something of what he gave?Aris Fioretos’ new book is both elegy and requiem in reverse. In short prose tableaux, as matter of fact as they are lyrical, Half the sun traces the adventures of an expatriate Greek — from his death in a Swedish home for the elderly, over the years in the burgeoning welfare state and back to the time before his first child. Now the father is no longer father. But has life before him
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Paul Celan:
Ausgewählte Gedichte
(Selected Poems)

Paul Celan (1920–1970) is and will surely remain the most important German-language poet after the second world war, after the Shoah. Unlike Ausgewählte Gedichte, which was published in the same year that Celan died, forty years ago, this new selection has had access to to the wealth of material available in Suhrkamp Verlag’s two great editions of Celan’s œuvre. They close a gap in Bibliothek Suhrkamp’s great collection of volumes of poetry by writers of modern classics
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Festschrift für Werner Hamacher

For over thirty years, Werner Hamacher has devoted himself to forms and possibilities of thought in and between literature, aesthetics, and philosophy. He has turned his attention to both the Enlightenment and Modernity. In pathbreaking essays on Hegel, Schlegel, and Heidegger, Hölderlin, Kleist, and Celan, in studies devoted to money, the general strike, and the color blue, he has demonstrated — always surprisingly and differently — that understanding, too, needs to be understood
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Vidden av en fot
(The Width of a Foot)

In The Width of a Foot, Aris Fioretos gathers texts written in the course of the last quarter century. The volume contains biographical sketches, but also poems and aphorisms, essays and pamphlets.The texts scrutinze world literature from Heraclitus to Winnie the Pooh, by way of Nelly Sachs, Nabokov, and Charlie Chaplin. Anatomical field studies are juxtaposed with ruminations on libraries, chatterboxes, and couches. And over all that sun shines which has the width of a human foot
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The Truth about Sascha Knisch

A biological thriller set in the steamy underworlds of Weimar Berlin, The Truth about Sascha Knisch deals with the so-called ‘sexual question’, its lures and seductiveness, dangers and temptations, but also with the shrewd love between two young people in a Germany at the brink of disaster. Above all, the novel is a declaration of love to imagination — clever, droll and stylish, couched in the form of a riddle and written with effortless elan by one of Europe’s most exciting and entertaining new writers
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Re: the Rainbow

Few phenomena raise such irritating questions concerning aesthetic experience and cultural perception as color. Whether understood historically or symbolically, ideologically or physiologically, color is one of the rare categories to be properly trans-disciplinary in character. We speak about color in both a painting and a symphony, a piece of text and a film. But how may color in the visual arts be related to, indeed translated into, color in the fields of — let’s say — literature or music? By which means do contemporary artistic practices investigate, but also destabilize, habits and frameworks that govern the perception and presentation of color in a given time or place? Which are the cultural ramifications of the specific medium in which color appear? And what, pray, is chromophobia?
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