On Life, Death and This and That and That of the Rest
Translated by Donal McLaughlin
5 x 8 inches, 160pp. July 2013
ISBN : 9780857421005
Rs 425.00 (HB)
The Lectures on Poetics Series at the University of Frankfurt VI has hosted many illustrious speakers at its lectern, including Ingeborg Bachmann, Theodor Adorno, and Heinrich Böll. At the beginning of 2007, Urs Widmer—described by the Independent as “one of the living greats of Swiss literature”—spoke to more than twelve hundred students and enthusiasts, sharing the sum of his understandings of poets and their timeless creations.
In On Life, Death, and This and That of the Rest, English language readers will gain access to Widmer’s historic talks for the first time through Donal McLaughlin’s excellent translation. Here, Widmer imparts his views on the poet as deviant and as sufferer, and as the conduit for the dream of singing to the imagination in the nameless voice of the people. Here, one of our finest living writers shares his experience of life as an author and as a devotee of the printed word with a new and enthusiastic readership.
Urs Widmer (1938 – 2014) was a Swiss novelist, playwright, essayist and a short story writer. He was the co-founder of Verlag der Autoren, an author-owned publishing house focusing on texts related to the performing arts. His other works published by Seagull Books include My Mother’s Lover, In the Congo, The Blue Soda Siphon, My Father’s Book, On Life, Death and This and That and That of the Rest and Mr Adamson.
Donal McLaughlin is author of An Allergic Reaction to national Anthems and Other Stories (2009) and has specialized in translating Swiss fiction. Known for the stage version of The Reader (with Chris Dilan, 2000) and Shards (2003), the bilingual edition of the poems of Stella Rotenberg, he has also translated Widmer's My Mother's Lover (2001), My Father's Book (2012, nominated for the Best Translated Book Award 2012) and On Life, Death, and This and That of the Rest (2013), all available from Seagull Books.