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Samanta Schweblin and Judith Hermann – two experts in the field of short stories in reading and discussion

Moderation: Ulrike Draesner
“Short stories provide more possible ways to pull out the rug from under your feet, and this is exactly what fascinates me about literature”, revealed the Argentinean author Samanta Schweblin in an interview with the newspaper / journal Página/12 and it's true: Her narratives, which have appeared in German (translation Angelica Ammar, Suhrkamp Verlag) as "Die Wahrheit über die Zukunft" are fraught with fathomless and terrifying moments, yet they are never sensationalist. Samanta Schweblin (born in 1978 in Buenos Aires) is therefore part of one of the most important literary traditions in the area of the Río de la Plata.
Such an abundance of precious literary works stands alone in this region of Latin America.
Julio Cortázar once referred to the short stories of the Río de la Plata as a “fantastic at noon”, while the Anglo-American authors delay the moment of fear and amazement until midnight. (Michi Strausfeld)
Judith Herman (born in 1970 in Berlin), who became a figurehead of the short-story-renaissance in Germany due to her laconic-elegiac first novel "Sommerhaus, später" (1998), describing her generation's attitude towards life, is on the other hand more interested in the incompleteness and impreciseness which short stories offer – in other words: the famous open end.
Judith Hermann always succeeds in creating these 'floating' aspects of short stories, no matter whether she is writing “etudes of coming-closer” as she did in the publication “Nothing than Ghosts” (2003) or tales of parting, goodbye and letting-go as seen in “Alice” (2009). “ Her artistic skill is to make all things heavy appear light and easy, nevertheless keeping all things final and ultimate in suspense.” (Roman Bucheli)

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Image: Krzysztof Zielinski

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