Literature as a European Mothertongue: In our series “One is a CROWD”, we introduce you to authors from all over Europe who will be involved in the CROWD omnibus reading tour, taking place from May to July 2016, featuring 100 authors travelling through 15 European countries. We asked them three questions based on text production, reception and mediation. In case you always wanted to know how a literary activist in Siegen looks like, meet Crauss!
Have you ever participated in collaborative author/reader projects? And if so, what do you find interesting about it?
Writing as itself seems to me is a process you can only go through by yourself. Most attempts of writing together with others I took part in, failed more or less. What I like, though, and what I again and again try is to improvise with other authors/ musicians, be it on a text basis or on an instruction (for example not to state a sentence but only to ask questions for three hours of the performance) or just by playing instruments that none of the participants master or have learned to play. Such collaborations I did with Florian Neuner, Thomas Antonic and Stephan Roiss.
I like that you never know what comes next, what the other person’s input will be, and if you are able to react to it or not. But I like to be a reactor. Give me a frequency, I’ll be the intrument. Maybe there’s music.
What is your favorite literary spot in …? (literary venue, bar, meeting area, city, etc.) Please do give us a link to the website of the spot / area.
One of my favourite literary cities is Vienna, because there (much more than in the “literary capital” Berlin) you can make sure that every night a reading of good quality takes place and that people with very different backgrounds come to attend the show, whereas in Berlin you too often meet the same people and hear very similar stuff.
My preferred venues in my hometown Siegen are KULTCAFF and HASI, the local hackspace. Kultcaff is at the same time a café, a concert venue and a place where students interested in literature meet or organize readings, which has increased over the last years (considering Siegen as not having been a very cultural place for decades).
In Hasi there are people whose language I do not understand (programming) but where I have the feeling they don’t do much different stuff than I do. At least programming codes often look like poetry, words that hackers use are a wild combination of technical and poetical diction. And so I learn. I listen. It encourages me to write stories of and among aliens …
Which recent literary event fascinated you the most and why? (Please give us the link to the website of the event)
It was a text of a student of literature & media which recently fascinated me most. Among many rather mediocre attempts of copying just the surface of what was held as “high literature” this one student, Jan Rottmann, went one step further. He read us a text about a friendship in a plain though at no point simple manner. What got my instant admiration was that Jan contrived to grow the story in our minds virtually through what the written text avoided to tell by letters.
Anything else that is of interest / importance to you?
I am curious to come into touch with the crowd group. And I wonder if the bus driver on the European tour likes poetry.
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