Thick of It
Ulrike Almut Sandig
Translated by Karen Leeder
5 x 8.5 inches, 96pp. April 2018
ISBN : 9780857425560
Rs 499.00 (HB)
In this volume of poems, Sandig is on her way to imaginary territories, trhough two hemispheres to 'the centre of the world', and navigating a 'thicket' that is at once the world, the psyche and language itself. The poems explore an urgently urban reality splintered with references to nightmares, the Bible, fairy tales, nursery rhymes and overlaid with a finely tuned longing for a disappearing world. Old names are forgotten, identities fall away; things disappear from the kitchen, the middle of last week, and everything is on the slide. Powerful themes emerge but are always mapped onto the local, the fractured individual in 'the thick of it' all. This is language at its most crafted and transformative, blisteringly contemporary, but with a kind of austerity, too. By turns comic, ironic, sceptical, nostalgic, they are also profoundly musical, exploiting multiple means and stretching syntax.
Ulrike Almut Sandig has published two books of short stories—Flamingos and Book against Disappearing—and four volumes of poetry. A frequent collaborator with filmmakers, composers, sound artists and musicians, she has won many prizes, including the Leonce and Lena Prize in 2009 and the Literary Prize of the Federation of German Industries in 2017.
Karen Leeder has translated a wide range of German writers, including Brecht, GrÃ¼nbein, KrÃ¼ger, Schrott, Enzensberger and Sandig. Winner of the Schlegel- Tieck Prize (2005) and the Times Stephen Spender Prize (2013), she is currently professor of modern German literature at the University of Oxford and fellow in German at New College, Oxford.