25 October 2010 Box of Herta Müller

The first collection of poems-collages of last year’s Noble prize-winner and a guest of the upcoming Conrad Festival – Herta Müller will be published already in November. Der Wächter nimmt Seinen Kamm (The Guard Takes His Comb) is a poetic collection of hand-made collages enclosed in a shapely box. Currently you can see its unconventional form by watching designs and photographs available on the publisher’s site: www.ha.art.pl. This unusual book has never been translated into any foreign language so far. Last year, only a few days before Müller was awarded the Nobel prize, the rights to the perhaps most unusual book in the writer’s literary output were purchased by Ha!art Corporation, which will publish it in a popular series Liberatura.

In a July issue of Tygodnik Powszechny Grzegorz Jankowicz, the secretary of the Conrad Festival, wrote the following words about this astonishing publication: “Probably the best way to stage the experiences of estrangement, trauma and pain are the collages that have been arranged by Müller for many years. She is said to keep in her room a basket full of words clipped from newspapers and books, which she connects into texts. The books composed of these pieces are unknown in Poland, but it seems to me that they constitute the most important element of her literary work”. (“Bezgłowy strach” (Headless Fear), Grzegorz Jankowicz, Tygodnik Powszechny, no. 29/2010).

Picture: Ekko von Schwichow