Katharina Rist

Das Gedächtnis der Fremde

 In Das Gedächtnis der Fremde there are many journeys through life, from A to B, between heaven and earth, life and death. When there’s no longer a sky, just the roof of a train, when the characters are only at home in transit, some wait for a resurfacing of childhood, some for something that could become key and some for the silence in which the word finds its home.

The journey also takes place between the past and the future, world and underworld, the not-yet, but still-already. This being-in-transit feeds on dreams of and hope for a home which might live even in what has been lost, memories which can also be born from things, and love which flitters away in gusty boots. And when dark metaphors suggest hopelessness, the Old Giant no longer carries the world and the world seems to be extinguished, there are yet, again and again, signs pointing to the ability of language to overcome borders, the world grows even while falling, space is opening up and uncovers the path to heaven and salvation becomes possible – for example when the world takes a peaceful bath in the tub with polar bear and child.

The oscillation between worlds doesn’t even stop at language. Thus, the last chapter of the German-British author is written in English.