Literature as a European mother tongue: 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 who will be travelling through 15 European countries. We asked them questions about text production, reception and mediation. In case you were wondering what a literary activist from Berlin looks like, meet Florian Neuner!
Have you ever participated in collaborative author/reader projects? And if so, what do you find interesting about it?
On different levels: Together with the publisher Ralph Klever I publish edit the periodical Idiome. With the literary scientist scholar Thomas Ernst I published books about the literature of the Ruhr area in Germany and, with the composer Christian Herndler a book on notation. When publishing, it is important to me to have a partner for discussions. There are mutual corrections involved and it is more fun, too. Not to forget some endeavours to work together on literary texts in dialogue form. With Crauss I tried this repeatedly. Such projects force you to rethink one‘s own position.
What is your favorite literary spot in Austria? (literary venue, bar, meeting area, city, etc.)
The MAERZ gallery in Linz, Upper Austria, is the best venue for the kind of literature I appreciate. In Linz, Christian Steinbacher, for more than 25 years, has been organizing literary readings which represent literary art on the highest level: innovative, experimental literature, poetry of sound and much more. An element of surprise is always present and the usual market-oriented fiction writer is absent. Not even one comparable series of performances is available in the German-speaking area – neither in Munich, nor in Cologne and, likewise, not in Berlin or Zurich.
Which recent literary event fascinated you the most and why?
This makes for an easy answer. Without doubt, the most unusual, stimulating literary event is the so-called „Provinzlesung“ (provincial reading), organized by the publisher Peter Engstler every second year during a summer weekend in the Rhön, a mountainous area in the middle of Germany, off the beaten track and away from the official literary hustle and bustle. The last event was held in July 2015. 20 to 30 authors meet, read from their texts all day long, the debates around a camp-fire take place until the early morning hours accompanied by lots of beer – an unique experience!
How do you feel about readers’ comments and feedback to your texts? Does it affect / alter your subsequent writing?
Among my colleagues there are some, not many, good friends with whom it is possible to exchange views on aesthetic positions. Their opinions are important to me and make me think. Frequently, I turn to them for advice. For me they are trustworthy readers.
Anything else that is of interest / importance to you?
Die totgesagte Avantgarde und das Experiment leben weiter! Es gibt eine Sprachkunst jenseits des Marktes, jenseits der Romanform aus dem 19. Jahrhundert und jenseits einer konservativen Auffassung von lyrischer Dichtung.
The avant-garde – presumed dead – lives on! A resource of innovative literature exists beyond the market, beyond the works of 19th century fiction and beyond a conservative understanding of poetry.