Two years after the pandemic, they feel Literature Usedom Days is like a festival again. The authors return with their audience and talk about “the fragility of our existence” – the motto of these days of literature. Director Thomas Hamill explains: “This year, under the sign of the Corona pandemic, we chose the slogan” The fragility of our existence “and we could not have expected that this terrible war in Ukraine would get in the way.” “That’s why we’ve expanded the program so we can also talk to our authors about the fragility of Europe.”
Ukraine’s Tanya Malgarchuk receives the Usedom Prize for Literature
The highlight of the Literary Days will be the presentation of the Usedom Prize for Literature on Saturday. The prize was awarded to Ukrainian writer Tanya Maliarchuk for her novel “The Blue Whale of Memory”, as jury member Andreas Kosert says: “It tells us about the difficult process of nation-building in Ukraine based on the biography of Vyacheslav Lipinskij. To be born Polish later for a Ukrainian identity. And in Its poetic language, it recounts the widely forgotten life of this highly influential historical philosopher and politician of the early twentieth century, whose life dream was an independent Ukraine.”
The novel was published in 2019. Ukrainian Tanja Maljartschuk, who lives in Austria, will receive 5,000 euros and will live and write on Usedom for a month next year. Until Sunday, the primary focus on Usedom will be: reading.
Start with the former Federal President
At first, Joachim Gauck came to Usedom – not as an author, but as a politician, as a former federal president. Talk about the cracks in our society and about tolerance and sedition – the pillars of democracy. She criticized the statements of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on “a real danger of the outbreak of World War III.”
Healing Through Laughter: Reading with Alfred Brendel
Alfred Brindel will present his book Healing Through Laughter on Thursday. The pianist and composer recommends not taking things too seriously. “Alfred Brendel is a writer himself,” says Alexander Datz. “He has published volumes of poetry, written on music, and will come closer to the diabolic variations of Ludwig van Beethoven, but also to his own poems, this humor in music and poetry. Humor that is also a life saver in difficult times.”
Olga Tokarczuk and Andreas Kosert in the jury
Olga Tokarczuk, Nobel laureate in literature, is scheduled to read on Friday. “Olga Tokarczuk relates to the Usedom Days of Literature in a special way, because she is not only the chairperson of the jury of the Usedom Prize for Literature, but also the winner of the same prize: she was awarded the Usedom Prize for Literature in 2012. And her latest book: “Anna in-Ain Rise to the Catacombs of the World” will present her It is about this world and the afterlife, about the serene existence and the catacombs.
Andreas Kossert is also a jury member for the Usedom Prize for Literature. The Berlin historian is an author and recipient of the NDR Kultur Prize for Non-Fiction for his book “Flight. A History of Mankind”, which he will present at Usedom. The book gains unintended objectivity through Ukrainian refugees in Europe.
Usedom’s literature days also include a writing workshop with Class XI of Ahlbeck High School. Students write about the coronavirus pandemic, about the doubts and fears, and also about the hopes of the younger generation.