15 April 2013 Herta Müller talks to Newsweek

“I feared for my life in my own homeland. This is why I left it,” says Herta Müller in an interview conducted by Dorota Danielewicz in the latest issue of the Newsweek weekly. The German writer of Romanian origin will visit Poland again. The 2009 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature will meet her readers in Krakow this coming Wednesday, the 17th of April, and on the 19th of April – in Wrocław. As you may remember, Herta Müller was a guest of the 2nd edition of the Conrad Festival.

Do you look for the hidden meanings of words, their original, primeval power? “When I search, I want the given word to be a word that is yet unknown in the given context, I want it to surprise me. After all, I just want to tell a story. And I use various forms for that purpose. I sit and write prose or I create a collage and I spin a tale in this cut-out. This is a kind of ambulatory manner of writing, because I carry these words back and forth. In order to be able to work with them, I have to tame them. Cutting is just a little more theatrical way of looking for words than writing. Because after all, all of the words I use when writing come from others. They are not my inventions, even if from time to time I create something new. A cut-out word is a material. And an object at the same time. I keep them in my drawers, I can tell by the paper which words are old. Paper gets old. And which words wait for their turn for a long time. I sometimes have the impression that they wait like travellers at a train platform.” – confesses the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Read the entire interview with Herta Müller: