“Night Drive” is from Departures from Rilke (Arrowsmith Press, 2023), poems that repurpose, update, or upend lyrics from Rainer Maria Rilke’s New Poems (1907/08), often leaving Rilke’s premises almost altogether.
One of the many things that drew me to A Space Bounded by Shadows is the novel’s overarching theme of exile and wandering between worlds — imaginary and real. The narrative weaves the rich tapestry of an artist’s life between art, relationships, and politics and their declaration of love for literature, film, and theatre. As an immigrant myself, the book captured me immediately because it explores how mother tongue and second language can merge, creating a new, enriched language and overcoming speechlessness in exile.
Translation: Excerpt from A SPACE BOUNDED BY SHADOWS
Translated from German [“mein lieblingstier heißt winter”] by NEIL BLACKADDER
The piece appears below in both English and German.
Ferdinand Schmalz was already well established as an award-winning and widely produced playwright when, in 2017, he took part in the annual Tage der deutschsprachigen Literatur in the Austrian town of Klagenfurt. Schmalz won the prestigious Ingeborg Bachmann Prize for the unpublished story he read aloud at the event: “mein lieblingstier heißt winter.” Over the next few years, Schmalz developed the story into a novel which was published in 2021 by Fischer Verlag—and his first book of prose was shortlisted for the Austrian Book Prize and longlisted for the German Book Prize.