"It is the humus, the peat, the compost of literature: despair. Despairing of work, of colleagues, of your own sanity, of the world, of literary business, everything. I have made it a habit to despair at least once a day for at least five minutes, of anything, and if it is only my housekeeper's cuisine. The lamenting that comes with it, the throwing-skyward-of-hands, the welling up of the blood, incidentally, provide the necessary physical exercise that otherwise is so sorely lacking from a writer's daily routine."*
Sad excuse for a translation, impromptu, by yours truly. Apologies to Walter Moers for butchering his book; but it would be too cool to have that ancient Zamonian candelabrum from the first Mythenmetzian digression in "Ensel und Krete".
I'd love to ask the old dinosaur poet how he manages to keep despair contained within those five minutes. [whining and wailing section goes here]
Pull yourself up off the ground
You've started liking being down
The persecution feels cool
The subtle feel of garden tools
But what about that other life
'Cause this is more an afterlife
Seducing you each night and day
You're never gonna break away
I had this idea about a parallel husiverse recently. Imagine there's a website frequented by all those people that appear over here as diarist's moronic sidekicks/foes/nemeses. Robins, roommates, root causes, inc. Nobody feels their surroundings suffer from a dumbass deficiency, right? But since this site is 100% idiot-free, except for me showing up occasionally, where are all the goofy people?
Something I read this morning that puzzled me (it's about a tiny beetle, Claviger longicornis, that lives only in the nests of Lasius umbratus ants; another careless ad hoc translation, mille pardons): "[...] the beetle bewitches its host ants with glandular secretions dispensed through wisps of hair, which however don't serve as food, but as intoxicants. In case of disturbances, the ants carry not only their own offspring, but also the beetles to a safe place."
Der Humus, der Torf, der Kompost der Literatur, das ist die Verzweiflung. Zweifel an der Arbeit, an den Kollegen, am eigenen Verstand, an der Welt, am Literaturbetrieb, an allem. Ich habe es mir zur Regel gemacht, mindestens einmal pro Tag für mindestens fünf Minuten an irgend etwas zu verzweifeln, und seien es nur die Kochkünste meiner Haushälterin. Das damit einhergehende Lamentieren, Händegenhimmelwerfen und Blutwallen sorgt übrigens für die nowendige körperliche Betätigung, die ja ansonsten im schriftstellerischen Leben chronisch zu kurz kommt."
"Zweifel", in the second sentence, basically means "doubt", not "despair", but it's also the root of "Verzweiflung", "despair", and I chose not to obfuscate the connection there. An example for one of many reasons why a translation can never be perfect. By the way, what's the difference between "despair" and "desparation"?
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