Zabriskie Rewind 2022

Zabriskie Rewind 2022

[de] Das Zabriskie Rewind 2022: Die Lieblingsbücher von Autor*innen, Künstler*innen, Verleger*innen, Herausgeber*innen, Musiker*innen, Buchhändler*innen – aus dem Dunstkreis des Zabriskie-Buchladens.

[en] The Zabriskie Rewind 2022: The favourite books of authors, artists, publishers, editors, musicians, booksellers – from the sphere of the Zabriskie Bookstore.

Mit Beiträgen von / with contributions by:
Una Hamilton Helle (Becoming the Forest zine)
Emma Warren (Dance your way home – A Journey Through the Dancefloor)
Miki Yui (Hallow Ground, TAL)
Jan Lankisch (I feel everything you say …)
Justin Hopper (Old Weird Albion)
Diva Harris (Caught By The River)
Anna-Sophie Springer (K. Verlag)
Jon Woolcott (Little Toller Books)
Mark Pilkington (Strange Attractor Press)
Gülsüm Güler & Inci Güler (TDD)
Elisa Metz & Nathalie Brum (Grapefruit Zine)
Rebeca Pérez Gerónimo (flores degeneradas)
Carolin Blöink & Natalia Klaus (Stiftung Buchkunst)
Katharina Zimmerhackl (Die Verwechslung der Freiheit)
Maike Suhr (hinterlands Magazine)
Barbara Collé & Uta Neumann (Chamber of Colours)
Elisa & Coco & Lena Astarte (hoops)
Gabriella Hirst (battlefield)
Wolfgang Zwierzynski (Quichotte Buchhandlung)
Holger Lehmann (Nabellieder)
Lorena Carràs (Zabriskie Buchladen)
Jean-Marie Dhur (Zabriskie Buchladen)

Una Hamilton Helle
Artist and editor of „Becoming the Forest“ zine |

„Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World“, by Tyson Yunkaporta
HarperOne, 2020
I find this book by Aboriginal scholar Tyson Yunkaporta really hard to describe. It is a book that affected me deeply, but which will take a life time to sink in and put into practice. It speaks of ways of being in the world, which are rooted in Aboriginal teachings (those he is allowed to convey), especially as ways of meeting the upcoming consequences that stem from of our loss of connection to “nature” and kinship systems. It teaches us that yarning, story-telling, pattern-thinking and symbol-making are key parts of this process of thinking and being-with, and it made me question a lot of the language, rationale and ideas I had about the world.

„Ani.mystic: Encounters with a Living Cosmos“, by Gordon White
Scarlet Imprint, 2022
A stated kindred spirit of Yunkaporta and host of the podcast Rune Soup, White is also trying to redefine how we relate to reality, our surroundings and each other, which he does by looking at how the western magical tradition could benefit from an animist outlook. White takes a sharp look at how western materialist-naturalism (in short; only physical things really exist and the world is governed by blind forces devoid of any purpose and intent) has brought us into a position of distance from our surroundings, hence we don’t comprehend or take responsibility for the effect we have upon them. He delivers a convincing argument for how magical practice can have real consequences in the world, especially when performing our magical workings and daily rituals within the context and acknowledgment of the land we are on and the non-human beings we share these places with.

„The House on the Borderland“ by William Hope Hodgson
First published in 1908. Different publishers (e.g. Source Books)
I have been devouring the work of old British writers of the eerie, such as MR James, Algernon Blackwood and Arthur Machen for a while, but Hope Hodgson was unknown to me until I recently bought a game based on this story (by Emperors of Eternal Evil). It is a dreadfully existential tale about a man who lives in an ancient house which warps time and space, and who has to withstand a terrifying siege from what he calls “the swine-things”, who keep emerging from unknown depths. Although he only managed to publish a few novels before his untimely death, Hope Hodgson is thought of as the originator of cosmic horror. Imagine a cross between Olaf Stapledon’s ‘Star Maker’ and some of H. P. Lovecraft’s more paranoid house-intrusion stories. Mad but brilliant!

„Parable of the Sower“, by Octavia Butler
Headline , 2019. First published in 1993
This book felt like it mentally prepared me for a slow, degrading kind of societal apocalypse, which in the book is set in 2025 and chimes eerily with recent political developments in the US. My family have an old cabin in the countryside and after reading ‘Parable of the Sower’, whenever I drive there I now imagine how I would make that same route by foot in order to escape the city, the places I would hide, the food I would gather and how and who I would connect with along the way in order to survive, just like the main character Olamina has to. This is a brutal but very human story which one can draw many parallels to in our current climate, and the sequel ‘Parable of the Talents’ is equally worth reading.

„The Weirdstone of Brisingamen“, by Alan Garner
HarperCollins, 2013. First published in 1960
Having been doing research on the notion of “deep England” I’ve been enjoying reading a lot of literature where the English landscape is a prominent feature or character in itself, and this is a common thread through all of Garner’s authorship. ‘Weirdstone of Brisingamen’ is a children’s book, the first he wrote, and references the myth of the sleeping King (Arthur) in the mountain. Set in the Cheshire landscape that Garner’s family has lived and worked on for centuries, it is replete with references to local myth, archaeology and ancestral memory as experienced through place. I also recommend reading Garner’s lectures (for grown ups) on oral culture, boredom, creativity and relationship to place, which are collected in the compendium ‘The Voice That Thunders’.

Emma Warren
Writer and broadcaster
Author of „Make some space“ and „Dance your way home – A Journey Through the Dancefloor

„Brittle With Relics“, by Richard King
Faber, 2022
You don’t need to be Welsh to love this brilliant oral history. It spans 1962 to 1997, using music, language, culture and community to illuminate the specifics – and the universalities – of the struggle for Welsh identity. A story for all times, chiming through the histories.

„Dance Move“, by Wendy Erskine
Picador, 2022
Wendy’s stories take place around Belfast, where she lives. They’re deliciously detailed; sometimes funny and other times dark, often in the same sentence. Her characters deal with everyday life in a context that is specifically Northern Irish. This means that sometimes, someone will scratch a key down a car or that individuals will find themselves locked together by secrets they didn’t ask for.

„A Quick Ting… on Afrobeats“, by Christian Adofo
Jacaranda Press, 2022
This slim volume is the first book to tell the story of this relatively new music genre. It written with love and deep knowledge and creates a beautifully broad base for future writers to riff on. There’s Burger Hi-Life that evolved in 1980s Germany and the under-explored role of University Societies to name just a couple of highlights.

Miki Yui
Artist and composer
Explores the grey zones of our perception and imagination in the fields of music, drawing, installation and performance

„Quantum listening“, by Pauline Oliveros
Ignota Books 2022, first published in 1999.
A legendary composer and performer who conceived “Deep Listening” (first coined in 1988), a unique praxis of listening, wrote this text in 1999. This single edition includes introductions by Laurie Anderson and IONE – Oliveros’ collaborator and partner, sharing wonderful stories of a pioneer in post-war experimental music. For me, like many other fellow artists and musicians, her Sonic Meditation is a very important teaching. To describe her theory, I would like to quote her words: “As you listen, the particles of sound decide to be heard. Listening affects what is sounding. It is a symbiotic relationship. As you listen, the environment is enlivened. This is the listening effect.” This is a good introduction to her work, a guidebook to find new horizons in “listening” and in ecological ways of living.

„Intermediary Spaces“, by Éliane Radigue and Julia Eckhard
Umland Editions, 2019
The extensive publication of an influential and innovative contemporary composer of our time. The book contains a rare text by Radigue, “The mysterious power of the Infinitesimal”, long interviews and a commented list of her works. The interview by Julia Eckhardt, who is also a close collaborator of the composer, reveals the development of her work and her personal view on the process. What I often find remarkable about innovative (female) artists and composers is that the innovation comes through careful observation in life, and not from theoretical thinking. A quote from her text: “ How can sounds or words transcribe this imperceptibly slow transformation occurring during every instant and that only an extremely attentive and alert eye can sometimes perceive, the movement of a leaf, a stalk, a flower propelled by the life that makes it grow?”

„In Verteidigung der weniger guten Idee“, by William Kentridge
Turia + Kant, 2017
This is a lecture the artist gave at Sigmund Freud Museum in 2017, translated in German. His very unique, precise observation and description of the artist’s creative process is an exciting read. His way of working, i.e. how he “finds the way to bring contradiction and paradox from peripheries to center”, “think through material” or his description “gestures, words and drawings to fill the gap, the emptiness so that they bring us to ourselves and beyond ourselves” are inspiring not only for artists.

„Mind and Nature – A Necessary Unity“, by Gregory Bateson
First published in 1979, read in Japanese translation.
A classic text by an original thinker, who questions the structure “how we think”. His cybernetic way of thinking questions our relationship with nature in the time of climate change. This book is about, as he puts it in the introduction, “The pattern which connects”. A guide to recognise and understand the living world including ourselves through the patterns and their entanglement. Though this is not an easy read (I must confess I have not yet finished) it is a treasure box of many inspirational suggestions, definitions and questions that open not only my eyes but also my mind. His connotation on the aesthetic experience reveals the bridge between nature and human culture. Additionally I recommend the documentary film on Gregory Bateson called “An ecology of mind” that gives good insight to his way of thinking.

Jan Lankisch
Publisher, concert & festival organizer, enthusiast
Editor of |

„The Cricket – Black Music in Evolution 1968-69″, by David Grundy, A.B. Spellman
Blank Forms Editions, 2022
A collection of the experimental magazine as a document of the „Black Arts Movement“ Scene“ from 1968-1969. For free Jazz maniacs.

„Free Music Production – FMP: The Living Music“, by Markus Müller
Wolke Verlag, 2022
More Free Jazz. Founded in 1969 by musicians Peter Brötzmann, Peter Kowald, Alexander von Schlippenbach and Jost Gebers, FMP documented the vibrant scene in West Germany. A great work on the creation of this scene.

„How to Hum“, by Oliver-Selim Boualam, Lukas Marstaller
Butter Books, 2022
To relax from all the exhausting music, this little book is a handy manual for amateur hummers. With hum poems, hum exercises and hum gestures, it invites you to experience your body in new ways.

„Dub Konferenz“, by Helmut Philipps
Strzelecki Books, 2022
This book takes you by the hand to delve into the depths of dub music. For lovers of this reggae sub-genre with interviews of the protagonists who invented it.

Justin Hopper
Writer and editor, „The Old Weird Albion“, „Obsolete Spells“, „Chanctonbury Rings“

„Wivenhoe“, by Samuel Fisher
Corsair, 2022
Samuel Fisher’s cli-fi Wivenhoe is a slow-motion noir in which each character, frozen in the ice and snow of a persistent winter, watches their inevitable futures play out. Each has agency over their communal situation, and yet strange emotional politics rule out any attempt to change the array of looming disasters. A warning to the curious.

„The Cambridge Centenary Ulysses“, by James Joyce, ed. by Catherine Flynn
Cambridge University Press, 2022
The beauty of Ulysses is that there can be no ‚finality‘ to anything within its ken; but if this was the end of it, that’d be kind-of OK. A totem-pole of Ulysses scholarship, as well as facsimiles of the original 1922 edition and Joyce’s own errata, makes this both the most overwhelming yet – in the perverse way of all things Ulysses – most readable edition of the greatest 20th-century novel. Yes, I said yes…

„Flourish“, by Michael Palwyn and Sarah Ichioka
Triarchy Press, 2022
A poetic take on a handbook for the future of 21st-century eco-balance, Flourish has been, for me, a bibliography of where to go next as much as a philosophical text for new living. Regenerative design as paradigm-shift in our ways, it is a profoundly human book that still manages to understand the non-human. Those who know Palwyn or Ichioka from their separate work on topics such as biomimicry in architecture will find this revelatory. Those who don’t might, too.

Various articles, by Freya Mathews
Via her website, 1977-2016
To follow-up: Flourish led me, among other works, to the world of Freya Mathews – a new one for me, and a glorious one it is. Her way of relating to the nonhuman, through panpsychism, bio-proportionality and a philosophy of language that inhabits landscape, life and mythology with equal tenacity, is a hopeful and confident one that makes its reader sing.

„Landscape Imaginary“, by Daniel & Clara
Self-published (, 2022
The East Anglia, UK-based artist(s) Daniel & Clara – themselves a single artistic unit – have spent several years exploring concepts of landscape as well as their home on the small patch of Mersea Island, a river-divided island off the eastern shore of Essex. Theirs is an idea of landscape that little-separates that of geography and of mythology, recognising that the way we feel and inhabit a place is inseparable from our bodily reaction to foot-upon stone.

Diva Harris
Editor of arts/nature/culture publication Caught By The River

„Things I Didn’t Throw Out“, by Marcin Wicha
Daunt Books, 2021, originally published in Polish in 2017
A portrait in everyday objects — how uncanny and beautiful it is to meet a stranger through their faded shopping lists; favoured models of BiC ballpoint pen; stones carefully selected for holding unripe pickles in brine. As the granddaughter of a woman who had a complicated relationship with, and often completely denied, her Jewish identity, but unapologetically loved Barbra Streisand, I was deeply moved by Wicha’s observation of a bottle-blonde aunt who had „covered her tracks“ after the war. The author recalls watching the aunt watch Hello, Dolly, and writes: ‚Barbra was her victory […] I think Barbra was the only person my aunt could be honest with. She didn’t have to pretend in front of her. Barbra knew everything, because some part of my aunt became embodied in her. As if she lived on her behalf, carefree.‘ Though this is a small aside, it perfectly demonstrates the clarity with which Wicha sees people, knows them, brings them into the room.

„In the Dream House“, by Carmen Maria Machado
Graywolf Press, 2019; UK edition published by Serpent’s Tail, 2020
I knew as soon as I read the first story of her collection Her Body and Other Parties that I would follow Carmen Maria Machado into the abyss — and that is what’s required of reading In the Dream House; a memoir detailing a psychologically abusive relationship. Dark as the chasm may be, it is also absolutely spectacular; the luminosity of Machado’s prose and her tendency towards the realm of magical realism building new and fantastic walls from all the destruction.

„Our Wives Under the Sea“, by Julia Armfield
Picador, 2022
Scaly horror and salt-crusted love creep in concurrent slow motion. A book about knowing, being known, and that which we cannot ever truly know; tender as a bathtub and expansive as all the water in the world.

„The Instant“, by Amy Liptrot
Canongate, 2022
A delicious slice of a book in which moon-boyfriends are more steadfast than man-boyfriends, and drug dealers are approached for intel on Berlin’s elusive raccoons. I love how Amy Liptrot sees the world, as, I think, do lots of other people: in the same way that her first book The Outrun spawned a flurry of cold-water-swimming narratives, I daresay we are about to see an uptick in writing about the moon. I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to suggest that she sets the course for contemporary nature writing.

Anna-Sophie Springer
Exhibition maker, writer, editor, and publisher
Co-founder of K. Verlag |

The pandemic lockdowns have brought some big changes to how I now go about daily life. These books relate to this experience in the most positive of ways. Before 2020, I would happily spend a considerable time of the year travelling for research and other “professional” reasons such as lectures and teaching. Since then there still has been hardly any travel and we now live with a wonderful dog called Ruthie. Whereas in the past I would always take my bicycle to get around the city, I’ve meanwhile discovered walking. It’s become a daily practice, a space-time to think about things (especially writing) and to process feelings, meet a friend, or to just notice the world and the weather.

„Hundeblick Berlin: Ansichten einer Schnauze“, by Nadia Budde
Reprodukt, 2022
As a born Berliner I am familiar and autobiographically connected with many parts of the city. But the relative slowness of walking around has opened totally new views and perspectives. When you walk with a dog you tend to walk and rewalk the same areas a lot. This offers possibilities to notice certain things in specific ways, including things you don’t necessarily want to notice. In Neukölln, that is especially the grotesque piles of trash everywhere. (And the trashy impression is much worse in wintertime.) So, I laughed, and immediately fell in love with the precise perception and humour of Nadia Budde’s caricature Hundeblick Berlin. Starting with the wonderful humanimal metamorphosis at the beginning, this book is simply the best portrait of the Berliner Schnauze. 

„Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know“, by Alexandra Horowitz
Scribner, 2009
Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog is a lovely, complimentary shift that refocuses away from the communal scenes on the pavement, as in Budde, and lets us imagine even better what it might be like for Ruthie. I pick up this book occasionally whenever a particular behaviour or encounter make me curious for some background information. As a non-fiction book about dogs’ cognitive worlds it is still written in a narrative, autobiographical form, and conveys a lot of empathy for interspecies companionship. One thing I found out is that when dogs kiss you it might be an ancient puppy reflex asking their mom to regurgitate some food for them. This has now become a running joke in my family whenever there is a slobbery doggy kiss. 

„Revolutionary Berlin“, by Nathaniel Flakin
Pluto Books, 2022
The other two books, Revolutionary Berlin and The Undercurrents, provide engaging psychogeographic perspectives on the political and literary histories of Berlin. Nathaniel Flakin’s Revolutionary Berlin offers walks with different themes and different stops in various parts of the city (such as its anticolonial history, the history of the Neukölln’s post-WW2 workers’ struggle, 1968, and the legacy of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf queer museum in Marzahn-Hellersdorf since the 1970s). Until reading these chapters with great pleasure I did not know, for instance, how and when the square I live at since 2010 is called Karl-Marx-Platz. The fascinating details in Revolutionary Berlin now often shape how I walk and look around and help to connect some of the dots. 

„The Undercurrents“, by Kirsty Bell
Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2022
Kirsty Bell’s book is first of all a seductive read because of how she interweaves, elegantly and with such grace, intensely personal reflections about her life as a woman of a particular age, class and professional background in a deep moment of personal crisis with a literary and site-sensitive investigation into Berlin’s layered history—and here especially through the biographies and struggles of women of different epochs, ages, class, professional, and political backgrounds in contexts of socio-political crises. All the other books I’ve mentioned are scattered in my “leisurely” piles near the sofa, to be picked up occasionally, for a part or a section that suits the moment or the day. The Undercurrents, however, I read cover-to-cover over a few summer days, and then placed it next to Kate Zambreno on the bookshelf—so, not quite next to, but near the great Chris Kraus, Marguerite Duras, and Deborah Levy. And, whenever I now pass Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade next to ugly Potsdamer Platz on route to my parents’ apartment in Westfälisches Viertel, I make sure to glance for the street sign I’d never before noticed, and momentarily reconnect with the haunting, poetic homage conjured by Bell’s text. If I later happen to be in Moabit together with Ruthie, I might specifically loop us around on foot to Cuxhavener Straße 2 in Hansaviertel, where in 1898 Rosa Luxemburg moved into her first Berlin apartment—a fact unknown to me if not for Flakin’s chapter “Rosa Luxemburg’s Berlin.” A walking tour of the same name was actually how I first encountered this historian in January 2020, only weeks before the first pandemic lockdown (the book came out in summer 2022).

These and other books (and walks) have also been important food for thought at K. Verlag, as we are collaborating with the curatorial initiative Owned by Others on a book entitled A Map to Possession Island. Scheduled for release this fall, this walking guide will offer multiperspectival reflections on the psychogeographic history of Berlin—especially through artistic interventions and the ruptured lens of Museum Island and the Humboldt-Forum. So, perhaps we’ll meet for a launch-as-walk later this year (or sooner, on the doggy field in Tempelhof)!

Jon Woolcott
Author, works for Little Toller Books |

„Churches in the Landscape“, by Richard Morris
J M Dent and Sons, 1986
I spent much of this year researching and writing my book on Dorset, out later in 2023 (Seren Books). I spent a lot of time unlocking the secrets of places, often using churches as my starting point. Morris’ book was revelatory, opening up the relationships between these buildings and their landscapes. It’s out of print, regrettably, but having found it in a university library, I was later able to secure a second hand copy.

„Lolly Willowes“, by Sylvia Townsend Warner
Penguin Books, 2022. First published in 1926
Originally published in the 1920s, this extraordinary novel is usually overlooked. It opens with an air of Nancy Mitford, describing the relationships in an upper class family (although never as upper class as the Mitfords – this family has to work), and the central character, Laura or Lolly, a woman now thought to be too old to marry and the victim of her family’s kindness. But she finds freedom from them, moving to a remote village and discovering, almost by chance, witchcraft, and an idiosyncratic feminism. Beguiling, strange and captivating.

„Bournville“, by Jonathan Coe
Viking, 2022
Coe returns to the English midlands for his latest family saga, interwoven with politics and his keen sense of Britain today with all its strange inconsistencies, beliefs and its attachment to a royal family. In this novel Coe is at his most ambitious, charting the lives of his characters across seventy years, choosing key moments in history to make his acute and frequently very funny points. If you want to know about Britain and how we got here, Coe is an excellent starting point.

„The Rings of Saturn“, by W G Sebald
Harvill, 1998. First published in 1995
How it took me so long to read this masterpiece is a mystery. Sebald walks the coastal landscape of Suffolk, but draws in European history, memoir, and a sense of dereliction to his beautifully written book. He teases the reader, deliberately makes errors, always to make wider points, but beneath the carefully paced, sometimes lugubrious prose, there’s also a sly humour, and a keen sense of the landscape from a unique perspective.

„brother. do. you. love. me.“, by Manni Coe and Reuben Coe
Little Toller Books, 2022
Are we allowed to pick a book we published? This year we published Manni and Reuben Coe’s extraordinary biography. In a world where most books remind you of other books, this is totally unique. Reuben was living in a care home for adults with learning difficulties, cut off from the world and non-verbal. In desperation he sent his brother Manni a text message – the title of the book. Understanding that this was, in fact, a cry for help, Manni left his home in Spain, took Reuben from his care home and together, living in a cottage in the countryside they rebuilt their relationship, and each other. Manni wrote the words, while Reuben contributed the cover and illustrated the book throughout. It’s an extraordinary story of love, hope and redemption but leavened with dry wit.

Mark Pilkington
Founder and director of Strange Attractor Press, author of Mirage Men

Like many of you, I’m sure, at any one time I have multiple reading streams on the go: there are the books and manuscripts I am reading, assessing and editing for Strange Attractor, the small press I run with Jamie Sutcliffe; there are the books I’m reading for research, for writing and other projects; and then there are books I read solely for pleasure. There’s a lot of overlap between these streams of course – insights and ideas flow constantly between them – but, more recently, as our publishing work has become more intense, and parenting young children takes its energetic toll, I’ve found myself reading more fiction than I ever used to, particularly horror, science fiction and fantasy, which have always been my comfort zones. In the past couple of years this has allowed me to pick up books abandoned by my younger self, and revisit others as a now nearly-old person. So here, in no particular order, are a small selection of books I’ve read over the past year, some of which will be familiar, others possibly not.

„The Secret History of Magic“, by Peter Lamont & Jim Steinmeyer
Taucher Perigee, 2018
Peter Lamont, an academic psychologist, historian and former stage magician based at Edinburgh University, joins forces with Jim Steinmeyer, a leading American historian of magic and designer of high-end stage illusions for this peek behind the curtain of the history of the spectacular art. As well as an insiders‘ history of the development of some of the most ambitious early magic tricks – including appearances and vanishings of selves and others, mind-reading and spirit summoning – it also brings a psychologist’s, and a professional illusionist’s insights into how we deceive, how we are deceived by others, how we deceive ourselves, and how the writing of history, is its own special kind of deception.

„The Croning“, by Laird Barron
Night Shade Books, 2012
I discovered the work of American author Laird Barron as part of my re-immersion in genre fiction and quickly hoovered up everything I could find by him. Barron, a hardy Alaskan who raced dog sleds in a former life, brings Jim Thompson’s grit to the weird, cosmic horrors of HP Lovecraft and Arthur Machen. His characters‘ engagement with nature and the inhuman carries with it the authentic sense of awe, and horror, shared by fellow frontiersman Algernon Blackwood, of one who has really lived it. Most of Barron’s tales are short stories and novellas in the high pulp mode, imbued with an often unnerving sense of otherness, their high strangeness sometimes extending into a derangement that at times becomes infectious. The Croning, his first novel, draws upon a subterranean mythos established in a handful of his earlier tales; slow-burning, filled with a sense of unknowable dread as appalling horrors worm their way to the surface through the minds and bodies of its protagonists.

„The Magus“, by John Fowles
Jonathan Cape, 1977. First published in 1965
A wise American writer friend was reading, and enjoying this when he visited in the Summer, prompting me to take down my own copy that had sat on a shelf for around 25 years. It was time to meet the Magus, though I now wish I’d done it 25 years ago when I was the same age as its protagonist. It’s a deeply self-conscious work, self-absorbed in its writerliness and wracked by the tortures of the youth, particularly male youth, of its time, but at its best – documenting the elaborate masques, endless deceits and many lives of its magus – it is truly entrancing, radiating intrigue, oozing atmosphere and hinting towards something deeper, magical and numinous. From this distance it’s also intriguing to sense its influence reflecting and refracting through the some of the cultures that followed in its wake – the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky, Nic Roeg and David Lynch all sprang to mind.

„Magic : A Life In More Worlds Than One“, by David Conway
Rose Ankh Publishing, 2021
A wry, thoroughly enjoyable, and wise account of growing up magical; first in 1950s rural Wales, then in 1970s London. As an occultist, and a gay man, working in the English civil service from the 1970s onwards, Conway (a pseudonym) lived what amounted to a triple life. Conway Was the author of Magic: An Occult Primer, initially published in 1974 and the first practical magical volume that I, and a great many others of a certain generation, encountered – and one that brought several strands, practices and traditions together into a fertile synthesis that set the tone for a great many of the countless magical books that followed in its wake. Conway’s interest in magic was born out of his own experiences, as well as his mentoring by a local cunning man in his native Wale. His memoir brims with mystery, and genuine warmth, while keeping both feet firmly on the ground and a mischievous twinkle in its eyes.

„The Lord of the Rings“, by JRR Tolkien
First published by George Allen & Unwin in 1954 and 1955.
Perhaps this should count as three books! Although a lover of fantasy, and fantasy role playing games since my youth, I had missed out on actually reading the ur-text itself, because there were so many other books I wanted to read. A couple of years ago I began reading The Hobbit, then The Fellowship of The Ring to my then seven-year-old stepdaughter, who having enjoyed those, declared, a couple of chapters into The Two Towers that „NOTHING WILL EVER HAPPEN IN THIS BOOK!!!“ So I was left to continue the journey alone. And while my stepdaughter was right about the opening chapters of Book Two, I soon settled into its pace, basking in the incredible richness of its landscapes and the depths of its lore. But I was also unable to escape the sense that this is a book about war, and the experience of war that Tolkien lived and saw for himself. Reading it now, against the daily cascade of horrors suffered by Ukraine, assaulted day in, day out, by Russian „orcs“, brought the books‘ themes to dramatic and vivid life: dutiful defence against a vast and encroaching evil, heroism and tragedy in the face of needless destruction. Finishing it, after probably a year of reading on and off, felt like a personal triumph, and left me only with the urge to go back to the beginning and do it all again.

Gülsüm Güler und Inci Güler
Gründerinnen und Gastgeberinnen des TDD Dinner Clubs
Gülsüm Güler ist Photographin und Künstlerin
Inci Güler ist Museumspädagogin

„Dschinns“, von Fatma Aydemir
Hanser Verlag, 2022
Als Fatma Aydemir einmal die Passage über den an einem Herzinfarkt sterbenden Vater Hüseyin (sorry Spoiler) der Familiengeschichte ihres Buches bei einer Lesung vortrug, war für mich klar: eine traurig schöne Gastarbeiter-Story, mit der ich mich absolut identifizieren kann. Ich / wir wurden nicht enttäuscht. Jedes Kapitel dreht sich ziemlich klassisch für einen Familienroman um 1 Familienmitglied. Dschinns ist zum weinen gut.

„Flavour“, von Ixta Belfrage
Ebury Press, 2020
Mit Ixtas Instagram Filmchen haben wir uns durch die Pandemie gekocht. Flavour ist ihr erstes Kochbuch, welches in Zusammenarbeit mit Ottolenghi erschien.
Die meisten der Rezepte haben wir nachgekocht. Ixtas‘ Style Gemüse zuzubereiten war 2022 bei unseren Dinnerpartys sehr gefragt. Flavour Favorit: das Numbing Oil mit Sezuan Pfeffer ist im hintern Teil des Buches zu finden, wir schwören drauf.

„A Cookbook“, Dorothy Iannone,
JRP|Ringier, 2018
Dieses Kochbuch ist tatsächlich ein echtes Rezeptbuch voller visueller Freuden und enthält dicht verzierte Seiten mit Texten und vielen Farben. Zwischen den Zutatenlisten und Rezepten sind persönliche Sätze zu finden, die die Gedanken der Künstlerin offenbaren. Das Buch ist voller Witz und es finden sich die schönsten Wortspiele und Assoziationen zwischen Nahrungsmitteln und dem Leben als Künstlerin. Es ist auf eine Art ein sehr intimes Kochbuch: wenn es offen daliegt ist es, als ob das private Notizbuch der Künstlerin auf dem Küchentisch liegt.

„Work-Life Balance“, von Aisha Franz
Reproduktiv, 2022
Aisha hat uns bei Ihrer Lesung bzw. Performance in Berlin überrascht. Sie hatte sich in Schale geworfen und in ihre Hauptdarstellerin verwandelt. Auf einer Liege und mit eigens komponierten Sounds bzw. Musik präsentierte sie uns ihr Buch mit einer Lecture Performance. (Zugegebenermaßen waren wir bis dato noch nie bei einer Graphic – Novel Lesung). Es geht um eine schwangere Therapeutin, die ihren Patienten eigentlich keinen Raum zur Genesung gewährt. Ein sehr grosser Spass über Frust, Selbstoptimierung und Machtverhältnisse am Arbeitsplatz.

„Kurdistan – In the shadow of history„, von Susan Meiselas
University of Chicago Press, 2008
Susan Meiselas ist eine preisgekrönte Dokumentarfotografin aus New York. In diesem umfassenden Werk über Kurdistan finden sich neben ihren Fotografien, die sie seit den 90er Jahren im Gebiet Kurdistan (Irak, Syrien, Türkei) aufgenommen hat, Archiv-Fotos von Anthropologen, Journalisten und kurdischen Fotograf:innen. Der Fokus des Buches liegt bei den Bildern, Briefen und Karten historischer Berichte. Diese gewähren Einblick in die Geschichte des Volkes ohne eigenem Land. Besonders die alten und neueren Fotografien der Freiheitskäpferinnen in Kurdistan sehe ich mir sehr oft an. Sie sind stark.

Elisa Metz & Nathalie Brum
Mit-Herausgeber*innen des grapefruits zine
Elisa Metz ist Künstlerin und Musikerin
Nathalie Brum ist Architektin, Komponistin und Performance-Künstlerin

„A Typical Girl“, by Viv Albertine
Suhrkamp, 2016
Viv Albertine von The Slits habe ich bei der Reihe Literatur zur Zeit im Kölner King Georg aus ihrem Buch lesen hören dürfen und bin seitdem großer Fan.

„Another Planet“, von Tracey Thorn
Canongate, 2019
Tracey Thorn von Everything but the Girl ist nicht nur eine großartige Musikerin, sondern auch begnadete Autorin. Besonders im Kopf geblieben ist mir, dass sie bei ihren ersten Bandproben beim Singen lieber im Schrank gesessen hätte, um dabei nicht gesehen zu werden. Spätestens hier konnte ich relaten und es hat mir Mut gemacht.

„Revenge of the She-Punks“, von Vivien Goldman
Omnibus Press, 2019
A Feminist Music History from Poly Styrene to Pussy Riot – dieses Buch habe ich letztes Jahr zum Geburtstag geschenkt bekommen und direkt verschlungen, passend zur fünften grapefruits Ausgabe über Punk.

„Girl in a Band“, von Kim Gordon
Faber, 2015
Nachdem ich mich dank der Songs Diamond Sea und Little Trouble Girl in das Album Washing Machine von 1995 verliebt habe, las ich die Autobiografie dieser charismatischen Sängerin, Bassistin, Künstlerin und Pionierin. Auch Nicht-Musiker:innen können den Schilderungen von Kim Gordon einiges abgewinnen: das (Über-)Leben in der kreativen Szene der 1980er Jahren in New York, das gemeinsame Arbeiten mit Lebenspartner:in, das Meistern einer Scheidung. Aber vor allem: das Kreieren eines neuen Sounds fernab der harmonisierten Konventionen.

„Handbuch Sound: Geschichte – Begriffe – Ansätze“, von Daniel Morat (Hg.)
Springer, 2018
Eine Zusammenstellung verschiedener Begriffe, Typologien und Phänomene, die im näheren und weiteren Sinne mit Klang zu tun haben. Beim Blättern stößt man auf Kapitel wie Opernhaus, Folter, Resonanz oder Akustemologie. Ein wunderbarer Strauß an Perspektiven, der einen immer wieder erfrischt. Ich mag Bücher, die ich non-linear Sinn ergeben und die ich mir patchwork-artig erschließen kann.

„Klangkunst“, von Ulrich Tadday (Hg.)
Edition Text + Kritik, 2008
Was definiert Klangkunst? Tadday stellt verschiedene Beiträge von Autor:innen, aber auch Briefwechsel zusammen, die diese Kunstsparte angenehm lesbar beleuchten. Die Dichte an Beispielwerken ist enorm, sodass sich ein Laptop neben dem Buch zum Anschauen und Anhören der Werke im Netz lohnt. Für mich eine wichtige Quelle der Inspiration.

Rebeca Pérez Gerónimo
Food researcher and publisher
Co-founder of publishing project Flores Degeneradas

„The Carrier Bag of Recipes“, by Elena Braida
Self published, 2020
A surprise gift beaming with ideas. A compilation of fragments that circle around recipes in a broader sense of the word and understanding them truly as a genre on its own. A self published book by artist Elena Braida, makes it even more seductive to bibliophiles across food culture, design and art books.

„Witches, Midwives & Nurses. A History of Women Healers“, by Barbara Ehrenreich & Deirdre English
The Feminist Press, 2010
This book was first published by the Feminist Press in 1973, circling around the medical establishment and witch hunting. As a forager and fermentist, reading it made me feel in tune with my witch-self and very thankful to all women healers. It was gifted by a dear friend who left Berlin in 2022 and it has been a kind of healing ritual to browse through this book and appreciate even more ancestral wisdom.

„Beyond the Periphery of the Skin“, by Silvia Federici
PM Press, 2020
In times of deep anxiety and uncertainty, I found that coming back to the body is crucial. The essay “In Praise of the Dancing Body” in this book made me feel the need to dance and I appreciate books that stimulate body and mind simultaneously. “Our bodies have reasons that we need to learn, rediscover, reinvent. We need to listen to their language as the path to our health and healing, as we need to listen to the language and rhythms of the natural world as the path to the health and healing of the earth”.

„To Become Two. Propositions for Feminist Collective Practice“, by Alex Martinis Roe
Archive Books, 2018
Many inspiring feminist activists proposing new ways of understanding collaborative work. As an editor working closely with many people, this book has shown me other ways to learn with others. It is meant to be a practical handbook and I’ve come to love this dynamic way of approaching a text. Reading and action become one.

„An Everlasting Meal. Cooking with Economy and Grace“, by Tamar Adler
Scribner, 2011
In anticipation of the cookbook inspired by this book coming out in 2023, I reread this edition and included excerpts from it in workshops I held during 2022. An Everlasting Meal is a hybrid between cooking lessons, meditation and eating rituals. I can’t think of a better book to recommend to people who love cooking and the calm it can bring.

„Sandor Katz's Fermentation Journeys. Recipes, Techniques and Traditions“, by Sandor Ellix Katz
Chelsea Green Publishing, 2021
Never a dull moment with Sandor Ellix Katz. Every book contains multitudes. In this case bringing forward the importance of storytelling and referencing all fermentation episodes geographically. After years of steadiness, traveling with Sandor was a cause of much pleasure, learning and pure joy.

„The Undercurrents“, by Kirsty Bell
Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2022
I read it for my book club, my favorite book we read together. It made me reconnect with Berlin in a different way, through the lens of Kirsty Bell’s own personal history with the city and some of her personal struggles. The story unfolds from her apartment window and delves into the inhabitants of her home and her surroundings. She looks out with such vigour that there is no way not to engage with her reflections. A historical but very moving reading of Berlin.

„Crying in H Mart“, by Michelle Zauner
Picador, 2022
A touching memoir written by Japanese Breakfast’s lead vocalist Michelle Zauner. Crying in H Mart tells the story of a daughter trying to reconnect with her mother through food when she is diagnosed with cancer. A beautiful tale about grief, family, food and endurance.

Carolin Blöink & Natalia Klaus
Stiftung Buchkunst

„MOSTRO – Pinocchio-Eis in Deutschland“, von Leonhard Hieronymi und Christian Metzler
starfruit publications, 2021
Ein Buch über die seltsamste Figur in den Eisdielen zwischen Reinbek und Memmingen, ein Buch über Pinocchio-Eisbecher in Deutschland. Autor Leonhard Hieronymi reist mit seinem ehemaligen Schulfreund – dem Fotografen und Analysten Christian Metzler – in neun Tagen auf einer Strecke von über 2.500 Kilometern durch alle Bundesländer der Republik, um so viele Pinocchio-Eisbecher wie möglich zu fotografieren und zu essen. Aus ihrem künstlich erzeugten Blickwinkel sehen sie, was Deutschland eint. Sie finden heraus, wie es sich anfühlt, das selbstbestimmte Handeln einem absurden Ziel unterzuordnen, dessen Erfüllung von Anbeginn an unmöglich ist.

„Das Muschelessen“, von Birgit Vanderbeke
Piper Verlag, 2012
Eine vermeintliche Familienidylle zerfällt. Ein Berg Muscheln steht im Mittelpunkt dieser zeitlos kraftvollen Erzählung. In der Küche ist zum Abendessen gedeckt, nur einer fehlt: der Vater und Patriarch, der die Familie nach seiner Vorstellung mit Zucht und Strenge zusammenhält. Frau und Kinder sitzen bereits zu Tisch. Und je länger sie warten, desto freier fühlen sie sich, in seiner Abwesenheit aufzubegehren. Denn der Abend hatte schon falsch angefangen – außer dem Vater mag niemand von ihnen Muscheln. Mit einem Auszug daraus betrat 1990 die junge Autorin Birgit Vanderbecke erstmals die literarische Bühne und wurde dafür in Klagenfurt mit dem Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis ausgezeichnet.

„Gesammeltes Schweigen“, von Heinrich Böll und Sharon Dodua Otoo
Edition Zweifel, 2022
Heinrich Böll und Sharon Dodua Otoo haben sich nie persönlich getroffen. Trotzdem erzählt dieses Buch von ihrer Begegnung: Sie führen keinen höflichen Smalltalk, bei dem der Klassiker den Haupttext hat und die Autorin der Gegenwart das Nachwort. Nein, Gesammeltes Schweigen ist ein angeregtes Gespräch, bei dem sich Böll und Otoo wirklich etwas zu sagen haben. Sharon Dodua Otoo sucht nach einer Haltung zu Bölls „Doktor Murkes gesammeltes Schweigen“. Sie recherchiert, schreibt Briefe, tippt Nachrichten, zitiert, experimentiert — und verfasst nicht nur einen Text, sondern viele. Eine Sammlung wie ein Gespräch, das immer wieder aufgenommen wird und das das Schweigen nicht fürchtet.

„ALMA – Eine Novelle“, von Renata Burckhardt
About Books, 2021
Das Buch zeichnet eine Figur, die nicht weiß, wie Heimat geht. Die aber versucht, Heimat wiederzuerlangen. Das aber ginge nur, wenn sie gesellschaftliche Codes erkennt, begreift und anwenden kann. Das gelingt ihr aber nicht. Es bleibt unklar, ob sie nicht will, nicht kann oder nicht muss. Was sind die Konventionen und Verabredungen, auf die sich eine Gesellschaft stützt, die eine Gesellschaft braucht? Gesellschaft in Form kleinteiliger Gemeinschaften, wie Viertel, Stadtbezirke, Städte, aber ebenso Länder, Gruppierungen, Religionen. Für die Autorin, die sonst Theaterstück verfasst, ist es faszinierend, an wie viele Verabredungen wir uns alle halten. Sie liebt Dialoge, die Art, wie Figuren miteinander reden, sie liebt Zuspitzung, eine Überhöhung und vermeintliche Künstlichkeit, die sie in der alltäglichen Welt aber auch so erfährt: „Wenn ich niederschreibe, was ich eins zu eins so beobachtet oder erlebt habe, habe ich schon zu hören gekriegt, das sei überhaupt nicht realistisch.“

„Vom Schweden, der den Zug nahm und Die Welt mit anderen Augen sah“, von Per J. Andersson
C.H.Beck, 2018
Der Schriftsteller Per J. Andersson nimmt uns mit auf die schönsten und abenteuerlichsten Zugstrecken der Welt. Er steigt in den eisigen Polarexpress, entdeckt die mythischen Zugrouten des 19. Jahrhunderts, fährt auf den Spuren Thomas Manns durch die Schweizer Berge, erkundet mit der Bummelbahn und dem Schnellzug so unterschiedliche Erdteile wie Amerika, China und Indien und macht im größten Kopfbahnhof der Welt in Leipzig Halt. Während unzählige bekannte und unbekannte Orte und Landschaften an ihm vorbeiziehen, lernt er eine Reihe von illustren Figuren kennen, die unglaubliche Geschichten zu erzählen haben.

„Their Eyes Were Watching God“, von Zora Neale Hurston
Virago Press, 1986. Zuerst veröffentlicht 1937
Ein Roman, der zunächst ignoriert und vergessen wurde, heute aber zu den Klassikern der amerikanischen Literatur zählt. Das Buch beginnt am Ende der Geschichte. Janie Crawford kehrt nach langer Abwesenheit in ihre alte Stadt zurück und erzählt ihrer besten Freundin Pheoby von ihren Reisen, ihren Erfahrungen, ihrer Kindheit und Jugend. Als Sechzehnjährige von der Großmutter mit einem alten Witwer verheiratet, führt Janie drei turbulente Ehen, durch die sie finanzielle und emotionale Unabhängigkeit erlangt. Obwohl der Weg zur Autonomie für sie von Unterdrückung Gewalt und Objektifizierung geprägt ist, kehrt Janie mit sich selbst im Reinen zurück. Ohne Angst, Trauer oder Verbitterung.

Katharina Zimmerhackl
Künstlerin, arbeitet an der Schnittstelle von konzeptueller Kunst und Theorie

„Meine Mutter lacht“, von Chantal Akerman
Diaphanes Verlag, 2022
Ein Freund empfahl mir dieses Buch als eine seiner liebsten und schönsten Leseerfahrungen. Ich kann nur zustimmen. In einer schlichten und direkten Sprache beschreibt Akerman ihre Auseinandersetzung mit dem möglichen Sterben ihrer Mutter, eine Überlebende der Shoa. Eine Erfahrung, die sich wie eine Leerstelle durch die Erzählung und durch die Beziehung von Mutter und Tochter zieht. Sie berührt alles, bleibt aber ungreifbar. Immer wieder wechselt Akerman dabei von der ersten in die dritte Person, wird sich selbst fremd, wird zu ihrer Mutter. Eindrücklich schildert sie das Fortwirken traumatischer Erfahrungen in der Familiengeschichte, die ambivalente Beziehung zwischen Tochter und Mutter sowie die Brüche, Ängste und Sehnsüchte, die das Sterben darin hinterlässt.

„Die Ästhetik des Widerstands“, von Peter Weiß
Suhrkamp Verlag, zuerst veröffentlicht 1975
Irgendwann im Winter 2020 begannen eine Freundin und ich uns aus der Suche nach anderen Begegnungsformen während der Pandemie heraus Peter Weiß’ Monumentalwerk, meist am Telefon, vorzulesen. Im Sommer dieses Jahres waren wir mit allen drei Bändern fertig. Die Form des zweisamen Lesens und Diskutierens war eine der schönsten Leseerfahrungen die ich machen durfte. Und es hätte wohl kein besseres Buch dafür gegeben als diese Reise durch die Geschichte des Antifaschismus der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts, immer auf der Suche nach den politischen Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten ästhetischen Denkens und Schaffens. Jeder sollte dieses Buch gelesen haben – am besten im Austausch mit Anderen.

„Wide Sargasso Sea“, von Jean Rhys
WW Norton, zuerst veröffentlicht 1966
Wide Sargasso Sea sollte man vermutlich zusammen mit dem Roman Jane Eyre von Charlotte Brontë lesen, denn das Buch bezieht sich direkt darauf. Rhys feministische und postkoloniale Intervention erzählt die Geschichte der ersten Frau Mr. Rochesters, jene „madwoman in the attic“, die er in seinem Haus versteckt und gefangen hält. Der Roman erzählt von ihrer Kindheit und ihrem Aufwachsen als Kreolin in der Kolonialkaribik. Eindrücklich und bildstark schildert sie die damaligen Zustände – die komplexen Herrschaftsstrukturen einer Gesellschaft nach der rechtlichen Abschaffung der Sklaverei und die verschiedenen Formen rassistischer Diskriminierung – und verdeutlicht, wie Bertha Mason durch die Gesellschaft zur „madwoman“ gemacht wird.

„Afrikanische Tragödie“ (The Grass Is Singing), Doris Lessing
S. Fischer Verlage, zuerst veröffentlicht 1950
Bis vor kurzem war mir Doris Lessing vor allem durch ihren feministischen Klassiker Das goldene Notizbuch bekannt, den ich zugegebenermaßen auch noch nicht gelesen habe. Wenig wusste ich daher von ihrem Leben. Doch dann stieß ich auf diesen Roman, in dem sie Erlebnissen und Beobachtungen in der ehemaligen britischen Kolonie Südrhodesien (heute Republik Simbabwe) verarbeitet. Selbst dort aufgewachsen schildert sie die damaligen gesellschaftlichen Zustände, den vorherrschenden Rassismus und die komplexen Herrschaftsbeziehungen zwischen Schwarzen und Weißen, aber auch zwischen Männern und Frauen. Sie beweist dabei eine feinsinnige psychologische Beobachtungsgabe zwischenmenschlicher Abgründe. Die Geschichte kreist um das Leben und die Ermordung der in unglücklicher Ehe mit erfolglosem Farmer gefangenen Mary Turner. Von Beginn an entfaltet die Geschichte dabei, wie im Sog, die schicksalhafte Dramatik einer Frau irgendwo zwischen gesellschaftlichen Ansprüchen, vom Kolonialismus genährten Sehnsüchten und Versprechungen und dem Pulverfass rassistischer Herrschaft. Den Themen, die schon in der „Afrikanische Tragödie“ auftauchen, geht Lessing übrigens auch in ihrer 5-teiligen Serie Kinder der Gewalt ausführlicher nach.

„Marylinparis“, von Ginka Steinwachs
Stromberg, zuerst veröffentlicht 1978
Die Geschichte des Montageromans marilynparis wiederzugeben ist zum Einen schwer, da der Faden immer wieder verloren geht – es geht um Paris, die Protagonistin wandert durch die Stadt, trifft auf Orte, auf Menschen, auf Objekte –, zum Anderen vielleicht auch nicht relevant. Denn bei der Gaumenpoetin Ginka Steinwachs wird die Sprache selbst zur Protagonistin. Voller Lust assoziiert sie zu historischen Personen und Ereignissen und ergründet spielerisch sprachliche Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten. Der nach körperlichen Sinnen wie Riechen, Schmecken, Tasten strukturierte Roman reiht hintersinnig Listen, (fiktive) Gespräche, Collagen, Fotos, Zitate oder Lexikoneinträge aneineinander. Ein Fest der Spracherotik sozusagen.

Maike Suhr
Mit-Herausgeberin des hinterlands-Magazins

„The Word for Woman is Wilderness“, von Abi Andrews
Two Dollar Radio, 2018
Als Kind hatte ich, wie wahrscheinlich viele Kinder, eine Vorliebe für Abenteuergeschichten. Später entdeckte ich die Reisen der Beat Generation, Jack London und Thoreaus „Walden“. Unübersehbar war dabei immer, wie männlich das Abenteuer- und Reisegenre besetzt ist. Vor allem das Aussteigen, das Eremitentum, das Überleben in der Wildnis ist selten aus nichtmännlicher (und wahrscheinlich ebenso selten aus nichtweißer) Perspektive erzählt. Deshalb habe ich die Reise von Erin geliebt, die sich die männlichen Survival-Künstler zum Vorbild nimmt und schaut, wie sie in diese Schablone passt – um sie natürlich schließlich zu sprengen. Ein Buch, das ich gerne als jüngere Frau gelesen hätte.

„Marseille Mix“, von William Firebrace
Architectural Association London, 2010
Eine Stadtbetrachtung, die sich immer wieder für Unerwartetes öffnet wie die Straßen, Gassen, Häfen und Plätze Marseilles selbst. Marseille ist eine Metropole, über die viele Vorurteile existieren – das Buch greift diese auf, dringt aber in viel tiefere Lagen vor. „Marseille is a series of invented cities“, schreibt Firebrace gleich zu Anfang, und anhand dieser erfundenen, halberfundenen, realitätsentlehnten und -nahen Geschichten findet der Autor einen einzigartigen Zugang zu einer der spannendsten Städte Europas.

„A Book of Days“, von Patti Smith
Bloomsbury, 2022
Wer Patti Smith liest, muss sich nach einem „ästhetischen Leben“ sehnen. Es sind die Momente der privaten Routine, nicht des Rampenlichts, die den Zauber ihrer Beschreibungen ausmachen. Der Tagesbeginn im Café, Hotelzimmertage mit Krimi-Serien, Reisen auf Spuren literarischer Vorbilder, eine Thermoskanne Kaffee am Rockaway Beach. Dokumentiert werden diese Momente von Smith nicht nur schriftlich, sondern auch mit ihrer Polaroid-Kamera, später mit dem Handy. „A Book of Days“ ist eine Komposition aus 366 Fotos – ein Schaltjahr lang – man möchte sich nicht davon trennen.

„Die Brücke vom goldenen Horn“, von Emine Sevgi Özdamar
Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1998
Emine Sevgi Özdamar ist in diesem Jahr mit dem renommierten Georg-Büchner-Preis ausgezeichnet worden – ein Grund mehr, ihre Bücher zu lesen und sich von ihrem besonderen, furchtlosen und kreativen Sprachumgang mitreißen zu lassen. „Die Brücke vom goldenen Horn“ habe ich in diesem Jahr wiedergelesen, es ist die Geschichte einer jungen Frau, die, wie Özdamar, aus der Türkei zum Arbeiten nach Deutschland geht, aber eigentlich Schauspielerin werden will. Die Protagonistin erzählt wach und neugierig vom Berlin und Istanbul der 60er Jahre, von politischen Umbrüchen, vom Erwachsenwerden und dem Leben zwischen zwei Ländern.

„Kajet Magazine“
Seit 2017
Eines der besten Magazine, die ich in den letzten Jahren verfolgt habe, ist KAJET, a journal of Eastern European encounters. Die Herausgeber Laura Naum und Petrică Mogoș betreiben Kajet aus Bukarest (wo sie auch einen tollen Buchladen führen) und bringen mit jeder Ausgabe aufwendig recherchierte und gestaltete Essays, literarische Texte und Reportagen zusammen, mit denen die Autor*innen neue Perspektiven auf die vielfältigen Länder Osteuropas werfen.

Barbara Collé & Uta Neumann
Visual Artists. Work together as Chamber of Colours |

Visual artists Barbara Collé and Uta Neumann started a new adventure together last year: they started Chamber of Colours, a place where they make, research, show and sell their joint art projects. „Our list has become a list with evergreens. We have deliberately chosen these five books because they are books that you will want to read again. Actually you could say, that this list is good for a lifetime. We can tell you from the bottom of our hearts that these books will deepen, enliven and change your life. With every re-reading again, and again, and again.“

„Braiding Sweetgrass“, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Penguin Books, 2020. First published in 2013 by Milkweed Editions
How lucky you are: this book has now been translated into German, Dutch and many other languages. In one way or another the book remained mainly a bible at art schools and among artists for a long time, but now it is hopefully accessible to everyone. A warning may be in order here: this book will change your life profoundly.
Barbara: It has been my favourite book since 2020. Robin Wall Kimmerer’s wonderful stories have changed my experience of colour (my main subject of my artist research) irreversibly. In her way of living together with all life around her, she has inspired me unparalleled. So much so that I can no longer imagine my work or my life without this book. Intense huh? But true.
Uta: Reading this book, I feel loved and held – fully contempt and grateful of being a part of this planet: it’s written medicine.

„Thin Places“, by Kerri Ní Dochartaigh
Canongate Books, 2021
“Heaven and earth, the Celtic saying goes, are only three feet apart, but in thin places that distance is even shorter. They are places that make us feel something larger than ourselves, as though we are held in a place between worlds, beyond experience.” ― Kerri Ní Dochartaigh, Thin Places
Barbara: I read this book Thin Places at the end of winter on the Dutch island Terschelling. That period I worked on my book about the blue hour and spent many mornings and evenings standing on deserted dikes and dunes to dwell in the magical blue of this hour. Thin Places became my companion during these moments. The book deals with borders and transitions in its own way, but I recognized the vibration, the space and time that vibrate, where everything happens delicately and at the same time with a primal force. After the last sentence, I immediately read it again. It is a book that I hold very close to my heart.

„Underland – A Deep Time Journey“, by Robert MacFarlane
Penguin, 2021
Uta: Robert MacFarlane undertakes the expeditions into the underworld with friends and allies – immediately I felt myself a part of this deep connection to the people and the landscape. In this security and community we walk together – Robert and all his companions – the way into the unknown, not yet unveiled. Albeit the fear and respect of these dark spaces drift constantly in the air, curiosity drives everything further and further. I felt the pull down into the depths, the cool breeze that tickled my thirst for adventure. This book is a thoroughly physical experience: it literally ran through every fiber of my body, as if I myself were one of the allies on the expeditions, experiencing first-hand every moment of the descent into the underworld. With all your senses present and excited to see how and where things will continue, this book reads like a thriller. Unexpected spaces of imagination and experience open up for what lies hidden in the dark and I am sent on a voyage of discovery into my own inner self, yes, inevitably drawn in – in the lowlands I am alone with myself and yet connected to all being – perhaps at the closest to what life means – frankly honest, I may have come a little closer to myself while reading and traveling through this book. It prompted me to climb into my own and other caves with curiosity and cheerful courage and have now become more of my own artistic exploration.

„On Connection“, by Kae Tempest
Bloomsbury House, 2020
„But the closer we focus on our experience, the greater the awareness of the experience will be, the greater the immersion, the greater the possibility for connection.” – Kae Tempest, On Connection.
At this point we could also have chosen a book by the ecologist and philosopher David Abram or by the philosopher and biologist Andreas Weber. Just as these two authors write about the indispensability of our sensory perception and bodily experience, the poet Kae Tempest rhymes about how our experience connects us to ourselves and other living beings. The great strength of the book by Kae is their complete surrender to sensory awareness. Radically sensitive, honest, touching and every sentence worded just right.

„Just Kids“, by Patti Smith
Bloomsbury, 2011
Barbara: Last summer I read Just Kids for the third time in ten years. It is a book that puts me back on my path during moments of doubt about my artistic practice. It is a classic for anyone who makes art no matter what. And it is a book, almost a manual, for those who have an indomitable urge to write. Patty Smith wrote a wonderful book based on her long and close relationship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe. A true hopeful story and incredibly loving. I hope you will (re)read it too.

Elisa, Coco, Lena Astarte
Artists, editors at Hooops collective
hooops is a loose, rhizome-like collective of weed lovers around the themes of ecology, magic and community

„Radical Gardening – Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden“, by George McKay
Francis Lincoln, 2011
The garden is a place where the political and the private are deeply interwoven.
We share an allotment garden next to Sonnenallee with a group of people. Before this place was used by Berliner’s to grow their tomatoes, host bbq on the weekends or play with their children in the sandbox, this piece of land was a forced labour camp during WWII. The soil holds violent memories and barbed wire when you dig deep enough. Now a small sign on the entrance reminds us of what happened on this piece of land. The author and gardener Jamaica Kincaid asked “Why must people insist that the garden is a place of rest and repose, a place to forget the cares of the world, a place in which to distance yourself from the painful responsibility with being a human being?”. It is quoted in George McKay’s book Radical Gardening – a book that traces the political dimensions of gardens, landscape architecture and the organicists movement. The history of horticulture, as a way to cultivate gardens, is complex: on the one site gardens are a place to escape the stressful city, a place of (environmental) activism but also individualism, on the other side gardening, as a landscape practice, is of course structured by (ongoing) colonial and fascist histories. There is so much that still impacts our gardening styles and is worth to question. – chosen by Elisa

„Undutiful Daughters: Mobilizing Future Concepts, Bodies and Subjectivities in Feminist Thought and Practice“ – Chapter 6 of „Hydrofeminism: Or, On Becoming a Body of Water“, by Astrida Neimanis
Online Pdf
The earth needs water. Earth is not formable without water. The water and earth together can create forms, frictions, fictional spaces. „Estuaries, tidal zones, wetlands: these are all liminal spaces where two complex systems meet, embrace, clash, and transform one another.“ Astrida Neimanis writes about ecotones as a transition area between different ecosystems. Ecotones as a marker of connection and separation. A Zone of transformation. – chosen by Coco

„Undrowned – Black Feminist Lessons on Marine Mammals“, by Alexis Pauline Gumbs
AK Press, 2020
„I wish for you the sacredness of rest, expansive sprawling rest uninterrupted.“
This book has inspired and accompanied us along our collective nap sessions and dreaming research. A book that I will surely read again and again because Alexis Pauline Gumbs is writing science with love and critic. Beautifully stories on the past, present and imaginary lives underneath the ocean surface are interwoven with poetic love letters and revolutionary black feminist lessons. Coming from the power of gentleness and love, this book is both a dream and grief journey. Makes me cry and expands my heart with love for the beauty in this world and reminds us of the loving permission to rest within each others presence. – chosen by Lena Astarte

„The Fifth Season – The Broken Earth #1“, by N.K. Jemisin
Orbit, 2015
Terrifying and Beautiful. A book about an unruly earth, interconnected with people. Stones become people, becoming stones. A book about human made hierarchies, oppression and revolution. This story sucked me right in. I couldn’t stop reading it but at the same time I found myself emotionally involved and dreaming about the book, which was little terrifying. It feels chillingly close to the future, then at same time ancient and simultaneously as if happening right now and in another galaxy. It definitely transcends the linearity of time. – chosen by Lena Astarte

Gabriella Hirst

„On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint“, by Maggie Nelson
Jonathan Cape, 2021
Nelson applies the same scrutiny to notions of freedom and care in art and sex as she previously has to manifestations of shock/violence in art. Perhaps because terms like care are thrown around so casually, it seems necessary to tease out where and how care is enacted and highlighted in creative work, to ask, when is care constrictive, who is it serving? She faces the uncomfortable associations tethered to the term ‘freedom‘ as it has been misused by the far right, and she questions art’s ability to cause harm in a way I appreciate- I am unsure if I always agree with her but I admire the thoughtfulness and rhythm of her examination.

„Fieldguides for a Preternaturaist: Vol. 2„, by Rachel O’ Donnell, Nadia Kamies
K. Verlag, 2022
From Zabriskie! The field guides are a series tracing encounters between people and plants. The two I read this year focus upon aboritificants and contraceptive plants, tracing how botanical knowledge relating to reproductive labour is obscured and revived.

„Practice Makes Perfect“, by Rosa Johan Uddoh
Bookworks, 2022
Rosa is my friend and an artist from London. Her artist book is incredibly clever and funny. Her short stories, performance transcripts, and interviews weave together the voices of Una Marsdon, the Williams sisters, Charles II, her Mum, her Dad, Grace Jones, the Tate, Audre Lorde, Destiny’s Child, Stuart Hall, Reddit hair bloggers, digested fragments of chicken and other assembled cast members into real and imagined conversations across time and class and media stratas. Politics are played out in father daughter chats, TV talk-show scripts, and de-colonial tongue twisters, confronting politics of representation and employing black feminist practices of radical self love. It also comes with a pull-out sticker page.

„A Manual for Cleaning Women“, by Lucia Berlin
Collection, 2015
I had been meaning to read this for a long time after multiple recommendations including a friend who named her child after one of the characters. Her short stories map out her incredible life in a series of dry, funny and gut-wrenching episodes: being roped into her grimy grandfather’s full-mouth tooth extraction, cross-border abortions, the tides of love affairs, men, children and caring jobs. I found myself thinking in the cadence of Berlin’s narrative voice (obviously a knock-off version, but her tone had seeped into my mind nonetheless!). Such a wonderful book.

„The Jacques Lacan Foundation“, by Susan Finlay
Moist Books, 2022
I really enjoyed Susan Finlay’s story of a young woman interning at an elite Lacan symposium in Nashville. I loved it’s weirdness, it’s playfulness and it’s Kate Moss obsessed main narrator.

„The Candy House“, by Jennifer Egan
Scribner, 2022
My sister is a publisher and one of the perks for me is that she supplies my family with a steady stream of recommendations for contemporary narrative-driven novels. I really love being able to dive into a densely woven story which you can’t put down, there were a few like this to choose from but I really loved the layered, sci-fi structure of the The Candy House. It weaves across time scales and family groups, threading together tangential links between distant characters as their lives spiral off and on track across decades.

Wolfgang Zwierzynski
Buchhändler | Quichotte Buchhandlung Tübingen

„Die Stadt“, Walerjan Pidmohylnyi
Guggolz Verlag, 2022.
Der Ukrainer Walerjan Pidmohylnyi wurde nicht sehr alt: 1901 geboren wurde er im Zuge der stalinistischen Säuberungen der 1930er Jahre nach Haft und Folter 1937 in einem Straflager hingerichtet. Sein Roman ‚Die Stadt‘, in Kiew spielend, wohin er mit seiner Frau gezogen war, erschien 1928 und gilt als der initiale moderne Roman der Ukraine. Eine Geschichte der Selbstfindung und des Verlusts in den verführerischen Wirren der Großstadt Kiew, angelehnt an die eigene Geschichte des Autors.

„Tagebuch der Übersiedlung. Essays“, von Dzevad Karahasan
Suhrkamp Verlag, 2021.
Karahasans Buch erschien zuerst 1993. Es erschien nun in einer Neuauflage von 2021 mit einem aktuellen Interview mit Karahasan. Es geht um die militärische Belagerung und Bombardierung Sarajewos – der Stadt Karahasans – im Jahre 1992. In intensiven Bildern, einzigartigen Beobachtungen und lebendiger Sprache schildert Karahasan Leben und Überleben in einer eingeschlossenen und von Bomben und Scharfschützen heimgesuchten Stadt, deren Besonderheit für ihn immer in der ethnischen und religiösen Vielfalt ihrer Bewohner lag. Als nachdenklicher Chronist (‚Es ist interessant, wie eine leere Straße in solchen Zeiten die Angst verstärkt. In Friedenszeiten liebte ich leere Straßen, dieser Liebe wegen ging ich hauptsächlich nachts spazieren, wenn die Straßen leer waren, aber jetzt …) reflektiert Karahasan in eindringlicher Weise über das Menschsein und Menschbleiben unter extremen Bedingungen, denen des gnadenlosen Krieges. Mir scheinen Karahasans schriftstellerische Aufzeichnungen angesichts der derzeitigen Ereignisse von größter Aktualität.

„die verbrechen. Gedichte“, von Ronya Othmann
Hanser Verlag, 2021.
Ronya Othmanns Gedichtband erschien nach Ihrem Roman ‚Die Sommer‘ von 2020. Es ist erstaunlich finde ich, dass nach einem solchen Prosaband ein Buch mit Gedichten von ihr erscheint – und doch scheint es mir fast logisch, denke ich inhaltlich an beide Bücher. Die Sprache der Poesie ist eine besondere auch insofern, als dass in ihrer eigenen Sageweise, ihrer spezifischen poetischen Kunst eine viel umfassendere Ausdrucksmöglichkeit besteht als gemeinhin in der Prosa, Widersprüche etwa können in der modernen Poesie durchaus bestehen bleiben, während sie in der Prosa eher zur Auflösung drängen. Jedenfalls sind diese Gedichte Ronya Othmanns von besonderer Intensität, führen sie doch das Thema ihres Prosabandes auf extremer Weise weiter: Flucht, Vertreibung und Ermordung der jesidischen Bevölkerung im syrischen Bürgerkrieg durch den IS, die Nichtakzeptanz kurdischer Lebenswelten. Die ‚angst kennt keine grammatik,/ die angst stolpert nicht, sie ist das Stolpern.‘ (Grammatik). Die radikale Bedrohung radikalisiert die Sprache in die Poesie, ‚was Dir bleibt, ist eine wunde, die so schön ist, dass du weinst‘. Dieser Gedichtband geht unter die Haut.

Holger Lehmann
Musiker, Lesestimme, Kurator, Ofenverkäufer
Autor von Nabellieder

„pohesie“, von gellu naum
urs engeler edition, 2006
gefunden bereits vor einigen jahren , im letzten aber wiederholt hineingetaucht: ein verspielter, strahlender wälzer mit dem lyrischen lebenswerk dieses umwerfenden rümänischen surrealisten in der übersetzung von oscar pastior. eine freiduschung der gedankenketten, eine lustwandlung sprachlicher körperlichkeit, eine umfassende musikalische sinnerschweifung, eine so fulminante freude am spiel.
die gedichtwerdung als hervorragender lebens-satz im kaffeefilter unserer andauernden lebensmorgende.

„der lautlose aufbruch“, von renate feyl
verlag neues leben, 1984
die erste wissenschaftliche alleinreisende, die erste kometenentdeckerin, die erste zahnärztin…, ein dutzend sprachlos machender biografischer porträts von frauen, die den ihnen zugewiesenen platz als accessoire des mannes nicht nur nicht einnehmen wollten, sondern die es in die schatzkammer der geistigen männerwelt drängte, die wissenschaft.
so eindringlich die darstellung, so geschliffen die wie brandpfeile geworfenen sätze der autorin, so nachvollziehbar die inniglichkeit der beziehung der dargestellten zu ihrem gegenstand der leidenschaft, der sie etwas versuchen machte, das teilweise noch könige brauchte, um es zu erlauben: studieren!

„mr. wilsons wunderkammer“, von lawrence weschler
hanser Verlag, 2003
der versuch eines literaturwissenschaftlich anmutenden plädoyers für die aufrechterhaltung des staunens, nicht als einer der wissenschaft widerstrebenden geste, sondern im sinne der wiederannäherung an jene faszinierenden grenzbereiche von mythen und fakten, erzählung und erklärung, glauben und wissen.
ein feines verwirrspiel der blickwinkel, der besserwissereien, des un- wie des aberglaubens und in ergänzung zur wissenschaftsgeschichte der obigen renate feyl eine erinnerung an die polternden kinderstuben unseres prahlerischen hohemuts.

„heimsuchung“, von jenny epenbeck
penguin, 2018
zutiefst beschenkt durch den verzicht auf rumorenden, detailversersessenen sprachlichen zierrat, wächst dieses kleine buch über so manchen 500-seiter hinaus. und doch höre ich in der erinnerung die dielen des hauses knirschen, die scheiben klirren und fahre mit der hand übers holz des steges am see, derweil mir zeitgleich über 100 jahre märkischer geschichtsanteile mit stetig wechselndem personal, in intensiven, aufglühenden kapiteln dargeboten werden.
ein haus als geschichtsraum, dessen erzählung zwangsweise mit seinem abriss beendet wird.

Jean-Marie Dhur
Co-founder of Zabriskie

„We are „Nature“ Defending Itself“, by Isabelle Fremeaux & Jay Jordan
Pluto Press, 2021
A fantastic book that connects the fields of activism, art, ecology, spirituality and commoning. Isabelle and Jay live in the zad, the „zone a defendre“ (zone to defend) of Notre-Dame-des-Landes near Nantes in France. The zad there grew out of the protection of an ancient cultural and natural landscape that was planned to be destroyed for the construction of a new large airport. The book tells the story of this zad, the activists and farmers who live there, and the story of the victory over the outrageous plans of the government and the corporations it is linked to.

„Always Coming Home“, by Ursula K. Le Guin.
Gollancz, 2016. First published, 1985
In this superb experimental novel, visionary writer Ursula Le Guin traces the lives of the indigenous Kesh people, who live in a post-apocalyptic California of the future. Modern high-tech seems to exist only as rumour of the past, and the people have reconnected to ancient and clean technologies and live in balanced communities. Not everything runs smoothly in this future world either, but for the most part the Kesh people have found ways to deal unviolently with frictions. The hierarchical warrior and conqueror people of the Condor, who act as a cautionary counterexample, are a different story – which has a bad end. The author’s interest in Taoist philosophy finds its way into the book, as does Native American wisdom and knowledge. What distinguishes this work from her other books is that it has not a linear story, but consists of many fragments – from stories and myths, songs and poems, pseudo-ethnological descriptions of customs and traditions, to maps, recipes and botanical instructions. This book is not for people who need a linear, crisp story – it’s definitely not a fast and easy read. But I recommend it highly to curious spirits! In Ursula’s own words: „what I’m trying to do (with this book), instead of taking the reader on a trip, is to say: „Look here, I built a house. Come into this house, and move around in it,“ which is different from what we’re used to. A lot of people are going to hate it.“ In the meanwhile, I think more and more people are loving it.

„The Earth Path“, by Starhawk
HarperOne, 2004
This is a powerful book by environmental activist, eco-feminist, permaculture ambassador and witch Starhawk that takes us through the elements and seasons. The heart of the book are rituals, meditations and exercises, grouped according to the elements: air, fire, water and earth. In the vein of Zen meditations or Pauline Olivero’s Deep Listening exercises, these practices are magic with both feet on the ground. A great handbook for challenging times.

„The World-Ending Fire. The Essential Wendell Berry“, by Wendell Berry
Penguin Books, 2018
This is a selection of essays by writer and farmer Wendell Berry, curated by Dark Mountain co-founder Paul Kingsnorth, and authorized by Berry himself. It is amazing to see how precisely Berry manages to name and trace the origins and causes of the most urgent problems that humanity faces today, naming at the same time the remedies for these issues. A passionate love for the soil and living landscape that surrounds him is combined with a sharp, eagle-eyed perception of our society. His critique of blind faith in technology & infinite growth, and the environmental and social destructions that follow, was read by malicious tongues as backward-looking, but the truths of Wendell’s thoughts become more and more obvious.

„Monolithic Undertow“, by Harry Sword
White Rabbit, 2021
A very captivating book about the role and importance of drone sounds in human history. The journey goes from Neolithic ritual chamber acoustics to modern composers like Sarah Davachi. With the first chapter in an underground ritual structure on Malta, the Hypogeum, which was discovered by chance in 1902, a fascinating trip through sonic transcendence starts. We meet people and groups like the Master Musicians of Joujouka, Ali Akbar Khan, Alice Coltrane, The Theatre of Eternal Music, Pauline Oliveros, Tony Conrad, Angus MacLise, Hawkwind, Glenn Branca, Sunn O))), Eliane Radigue, Brian Eno … and countless more. The book is also a history of counterculture through the ages, as drone sounds have somehow mostly appealed to a more adventurous mindset.

„The Cosmic Dance„, by Stephen Ellcock
Thames & Hudson, 2022
This publication is a very nice pictorial companion to Monolithic Undertow: repetitive patterns, fractals, sacred geometries, and universal forms. „Finding patterns and pathways in a chaotic universe“ is the subtitle of image curator Stephen Ellcock’s latest book-as-cabinet-of-wonders. It is a most inspiring pleasure to browse through the wondrous collection of artworks from millennia of human history, and read the quotes from visionary authors, which are spread throughout the book. Rather an Acid-Table-Book than a Coffee-Table-Book!

Lorena Carràs
Co-founder of Zabriskie

„Wie der Vogel wohnt“, von Vinciane Despret
Matthes & Seitz Berlin, 2022
Was ist Territorium aus Sicht der Tiere? Im Frühling isolieren sich die Vögel, singen so laut sie können, dulden keine Anwesenheit anderer Vögel, bedrohen, greifen sich gegenseitig an und sorgen vor allem dafür, dass niemand die Grenze ihres Territoriums überschreitet. Eine Grenze, die für das menschliche Auge unsichtbar, aber in der Welt der Vögel perfekt greifbar ist. Diese Erkenntnis dient Vinciane Despret dazu, die Entwicklung ornithologischer Studien zu analysieren und zu erkennen, dass die Entdeckungen im Hinblick auf die Formen der Besetzung des Territoriums umso komplexer werden, je weiter sie geht: Die Besiedlung des Ortes ist für Vögel Ausdruck einer Art der zusammen leben. Despret ist eine der einzigartigsten Stimmen des sogenannten „Animal Turn“ in den Sozialwissenschaften und der Kulturkritik, und mit diesem Essay schafft sie es, selbst mit dem Thema Unvertraute dazu zu bringen, ihre Ohren zu öffnen und dem Vogelgezwitscher mit neuer Aufmerksamkeit zu lauschen. Vielleicht sagen uns ihre unentzifferbaren Melodien nichts Verständliches, aber sie werden uns Menschen sicherlich dazu bringen, die Vorstellung von Territorium und die Art und Weise, wie wir an Orten leben, zu überdenken.

„Singe ich, tanzen die Berge“, von Irene Solà
Trabanten Verlag Berlin, 2022
Zuerst kommen der Sturm und der Blitz und der Tod von Domènec, dem Bauerndichter. Dann Dolceta, die aus dem Lachen nicht mehr herauskommt, als sie die Geschichten der vier Frauen erzählt, die wegen ihres Rufes als Hexen gehängt wurden. Sió muss Mia und Hilari dort oben in Matavaques alleine großziehen. Und die Totentrompeten, die mit ihrem appetitlichen schwarzen Hut die Unveränderlichkeit des Kreislaufs des Lebens ankündigen. Singe ich, tanzen die Berge ist ein Roman, in dem Frauen und Männer sprechen, Geister und Wasserfrauen, Wolken und Pilze, Hunde und Rehe, die zwischen Camprodon und Prats de Molló in den Pyrenäen in Katalonien leben. Ein Hochgebirgs- und Grenzgebiet, das jenseits der Legende die Erinnerung an Jahrhunderte des Überlebenskampfes, an von Ignoranz und Fanatismus geleitete Verfolgungen, an Bruderkriege bewahrt, das aber auch eine Schönheit verkörpert, der wir mit unseren Adjektiven nicht gerecht werden können. Ein fruchtbarer Boden für freie Vorstellungskraft und Gedanken, für die Lust am Reden und Geschichtenerzählen. Vielleicht ein Ort, um neu anzufangen und Erlösung zu finden.

„Das blinde Licht – Irrfahrten der Wissenschaft“, von Benjamin Labatut
Suhrkamp, 2020
Die Erzählungen in diesem einzigartigen und faszinierenden Buch haben einen roten Faden, der sie miteinander verbindet: die Wissenschaft mit ihren Bemühungen, Versuchen, Experimenten und Hypothesen und die Veränderungen, die sie – im Guten wie im Schlechten – in die Welt und unsere Sichtweise von ihr einführt. Benjamin Labatut erzählt Geschichten über Genies/Wissenschaftler, die eine lange und beunruhigende Kette bilden: Das erste moderne synthetische Pigment, Preußischblau, das im 18. Jahrhundert von einem Alchimisten auf der Suche nach dem Lebenselixier durch grausame Experimente an lebenden Tieren geschaffen wurde, wird zum Ursprung von Blausäure, dem tödlichen Gas, das der deutsch-jüdische Chemiker Fritz Haber, der Vater der chemischen Kriegsführung, zur Herstellung des Pestizids Zyklon verwendete, ohne zu ahnen, dass die Nazis es am Ende in den Vernichtungslagern zur Ermordung von Mitgliedern seiner eigenen Familie einsetzen würden. Wir werden auch Zeuge der mathematischen Entdeckungen von Alexander Grothendieck, die ihn in einen mystischen Wahn, in die soziale Isolation und in den Wahnsinn trieben; des Briefes, den ein sterbender Freund aus den Schützengräben des Ersten Weltkriegs an Einstein schickte und der die Lösung der Relativitätsgleichungen und die erste Vorahnung der schwarzen Löcher enthielt; und des Kampfes zwischen den beiden Begründern der Quantenmechanik – Erwin Schrödinger und Werner Heisenberg. Die Literatur erforscht die Wissenschaft und die Wissenschaft wird zur Literatur. Benjamin Labatut hat ein faszinierendes Buch geschrieben, das von zufälligen Entdeckungen, Theorien am Rande des Wahnsinns, alchemistischer Suche nach Wissen und der Erkundung der Grenzen des Unbekannten handelt.

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