LOTTE AND HER MAÎTRE in the Ö1 Radio Series “Hörbilder” (“Audio Images”)

LOTTE AND HER MAÎTRE
An audioplay
by Susanne Ayoub

Lotte Profohs in her studio. She always painted on the floor.

Tuesday, November 1
10:05 a.m. on Ö1

https://oe1.orf.at/programm/20221101/695539/Das-legendaere-Kuenstlerpaar-Lotte-Profohs-und-Leherb

with Gerti Drassl + Silvia Meisterle + Michael Dangl + Jörg Stelling
Sound engineering by Elmar Peinelt and Jakob Kainz
Edited by Elisabeth Stratka
A production of the ORF Feature Department, 2022

 

Photo by Michael Horowitz
The book cover of Lotte Profohs‘s magnum opus, the picture cycle “Erbarmt euch der Frauen“ (Take Pity on Women).

About the play
The Viennese artist couple Lotte Profohs and Leherb, idolized and admired in the 1960s and 70s, established their success with performances that were scandlous at the time. Lotte’s international career began early when she invented Leherb and herself as fictional characters, remaining on the sidelines as an artist while being omnipresent as a muse and a model. It was a young love that lasted a lifetime, even if it was not a happy relationship. Lotte attempted suicide several times. In middle age she withdrew from public view. Leherb, on the other hand, continued to appear in baroque costumes trimmed with live mice and a stuffed pigeon, until he died in 1997 at age 64. Their drug-addicted son Anselm followed him four years later. Lotte Profohs outlived both of them, surrounded by her dove Arabella and the mice Paul and Pierre, until 2012.

A Congenial Collaboration
Two jointly produced audio recordings present a special aspect of the couple’s congenial collaboration. Autodafé, a sort of surreal audio play with Boy Gobert as narrator, and Irre Gut (Insanely Good), with lyrics written and sung by both artists and musical arrangements by Toni Stricker, remain a revealing and refreshing listening experience to this day.

“Irre Gut” LP
“Autodafé” LP

 

Gerti Drassl in front of Leherb’s controversial monumental work, the faience panels in the foyer of the old Vienna University of Economics.
Silvia Meisterle
Ayoub in the studio with sound engineer Elmar Peinelt
Michael Dangl
Jörg Stelling
Sound engineer Elmar Peinelt
Editor Elisabeth Stratka

CREMATION

SUNDAY, AUGUST 21 3:05-4:00 PM

The radio play “Cremation,” about Ingeborg Bachmann’s death in Rome, will be broadcast by Bavarian Broadcasting on Sunday, August 21 – and then be available online for a considerable time. Unlike the shorter ORF version in the “Tonspuren” series, this radio feature contains many more original recordings of Ingeborg Bachmann, made only a few months before her death, as were these photographs.
Photography by Karl Kofler

 

THE WORLD I AM WORKING ON IN WORDS

The world I’m working on in words
is a fairy tale
over and over
I write the end
anew

The leitmotif of my story ‘Revolution,’ which appeared in the anthology ‘Die Welt, an der ich schreibe‘ (The World I’m Working on in Words), ed. Kurt Neumann, published by Sonderzahl, 2005.

 

 

Translation Geoffrey C. Howes

BURNING UP – An audio play on the death of Ingeborg Bachmann in Rome

Reports – Memories – Conjectures
on the death of Ingeborg Bachmann

in Rome

An audio play by Susanne Ayoub

TONSPUREN Sunday 17 April 8:15 p.m. and DA CAPO Tuesday 19 April 4:05 p.m.
+ available for 7 days on:
https://oe1.orf.at/programm/20220419/675720/Mutmassungen-zu-Bachmanns-Tod

Ingeborg Bachmann, Rome 1973. Photo Karl Kofler

“I have to admit, I no longer know why I’m living here. I have to admit, life here is like it is everywhere: someday someone will get married, someone will get a professorship, someone will hang themselves, end up in a mental hospital. Everything will be like everywhere. No Colosseum, no Capitol is going to help you get past it.”

(Ingeborg Bachmann)

Ingeborg Bachmann Rome, Café Greco, 1973. Photo Karl Kofler
Translation Geoffrey C. Howes

No more pain

In my darkness
the night music of the wind
I smell green air
wintery
the sky
bright
a bird’s
call
the blackbird

A shot
I do not
hear see feel

in my darkness
the forest air smells
wintery
the sky nearby and twilight
no light but a
bird’s call

brightly piercing
the blackbird sings
my parting song

Translated by Geoffrey C. Howes 

AT WAR. A poetic cycle by Susanne Ayoub.
In progress.

HANNAH, a film from 1996, repeat showing in memoriam Reinhard Schwabenitzky

REINHARD SCHWABENITZKY 1947-2022

As a director he had a “strong hand.” As a political person he was alert and pugnacious. A man with courage and a backbone. Giving up was out of the question for him. I experience this close-up on one of his most important­–most important especially to him–film projects. Without his tenacity, it would have failed because of financing. To say nothing of all the other kinds of resistance, including the film critics.
Reinhard wasn’t a simple person to deal with, but he was always fair and open, a rarity in that business. I am proud to be the screenwriter for the film “Hannah” (1996).
Friday, February 11, 2022, 21:55 o’clock.

https://tv.orf.at/stories/220211_in_memoriam100.html

Next on the program is Schwabenitzky’s film “Hannah” (21:55 o’clock) from 1996: The advertising executive Hannah (Elfi Eschke) has recently been hired by the toy company Hochstedt when she immediately falls in love with the junior partner Wolfgang (August Zirner). Out of sheer happiness, she does not suspect that she is unknowingly putting herself in danger, especially when she finds out that behind the harmless dolls and teddy bears the toy company is harboring a lethal secret.

Translation Geoffrey C. Howes

ANGEL’S VENOM: AUDIOBOOK

The audiobook version of my first novel, “Angel’s Venom,” is available again, reissued by the Danish publishing house Saga Egmont (Copenhagen 2021).

 


Three excerpts:

Poverty is the pinch of shoes that are too tight because children’s feet grow so quickly. Poverty is being sick without medicine because the doctor’s fees are unaffordable.

Poverty is soup kitchen fare, a seat at a table in a charitable shelter where the needy sleep sitting up. They have no bed. Poverty is the glad feeling in frozen fingertips warming by a fire on a cold winter night. Poverty is a pauper’s grave.

Poverty is where romanticism has no home, only pain and dark rage against the others who have everything and keep it from you, as if you didn’t have the same right as they have to survive.

“As a young girl I liked to imagine what it would be like to be poor. Really poor, like in The Little Matchstick Girl, Hansel and Gretel, or The Star Money, freezing and hungry and all alone in the world,” Marie Horvath says. She can imagine the child with bare feet in oversized clogs, but not that this child owned no other shoes.

I rewind the thread of fate, from me back to Karoline, to her beginnings, which themselves are nothing but a continuation. Lotte Loew, at the window in the signalman’s hut, dreaming like the mute husband over his postage stamps, two disillusioned people at my mother’s cradle. They too deserve my attention, they too had their reasons, their motivations, they too carried on. The ball of blame is tossed backwards from generation to generation, until the trail gets lost in the past, in faceless ancestors. In the artfully fashioned mesh, interwoven by encounters and circumstances, torn, knotted, and patched, I seek out my story. And Marie Horvath, that child of her times, listens, intent yet impatient, because I distance myself farther and farther from what she calls the essence, the story, the scandal, from Karoline’s unimaginable transgression.

****************************************************************

That Kritsch had taken Karoline in like a daughter of his own was no empty phrase. In the evening, behind locked doors, he made her dress in little girl’s clothes. He plaited her long hair into braids and hung a schoolbag on her back. Then he fumbled in her panties, growing aroused by her resistance, feigned or unfeigned. Everyone knew about it, no one cared about it. Karoline herself seemed content with her situation.

“He wanted to educate and raise her, to make her into a proper young woman who could move in his social circles, sit at our table as our coequal. But of course that was out of the question. We really thought that was going too far.”

“Get to the point, Herr Kritsch.” The examining magistrate rapped impatiently on the thick dossier on his desk. “Do you have anything to say that will help solve this crime? I have sent for the old autopsy report. Moritz Kritsch was seventy. High blood pressure, hardened arteries, overweight, cause of death brain stroke. The report leaves no doubt that your father died a natural death.”

“He had just taken out life insurance with her as the beneficiary! Doesn’t that sound familiar to you, Herr Councilor? And no one became suspicious in these cases, neither the aunt nor the lodger woman, isn’t that right?” Johann Kritsch leaned in conspiratorially toward the judge. “I know it wasn’t poison, that was settled clearly at the time. But she drove him to his death, she goaded him and provoked him until she blew out the flame of his life, just as if she had laid hands on him herself! That’s what a cold-blooded criminal she is!”

“Prepare yourself for the end,” the doctor said. That night, Karoline had hastily called him to her husband’s sickbed. “There is no more hope.” Karoline was still wearing the schoolgirl’s dress she’d put on for Kritsch, the short little skirt with the white lace panties under it that were open at the crotch, exposing her red pubic hair when she bent over. “You’re sick. The doctor says you need rest,” she’d protested. “Drink your bouillon, you promised you would, Kritsch.”

But he didn’t feel like soup, he felt the end approaching and clung to life with his last bit of strength. “Just once more, to make me happy. Do it for me, my love,” he begged, and so Karoline slipped reluctantly into the tight-fitting children’s clothes and showed him her backside. He reached between her white thighs, except this time it was no longer desire that made him pant and gasp, but death, which pressed on his heart with its broad, implacable hand. Karoline ran, dressed as she was, to get help, and in her fright she didn’t even notice the doctor’s leer. She knelt next to Kritsch’s bed and laid her head on his enfeebled hand.
“Don’t leave me, how can I live without you, come back, Kritsch, darling, my beloved husband!”

The doctor made a snide face at this performance. Like everyone else, he knew that Karoline was merely lying in wait for the old man to die. No one felt sorry for him, he was just reaping what he’d sown. Karoline’s extravagance, her greed for jewelry and clothes and furs, which grew with every year, would have ruined Kritsch if only he’d had enough time left.

****************************************************************

Pain seized Karoline. It ran along her spine, pierced her muscles and tender fatty tissue, burrowed into the coils of her intestines, and eventually flooded her whole body. As this wave ebbed away, because the obstacle she was trying so violently to push into the light would not budge, she whimpered, weak and relieved. The stars twitched in the sky above her head. A dress rustled by her ear, a hand wiped the sweat from her brow. She smelled vinegar, which was supposed to refresh her temples, and disinfectant soap on the hand that pressed the sponge against her face. The blanket covering her tortured body was pulled off. She winced at the skillful fingers that were poking her, fumbling, probing. They awakened the pain that had been waiting for this moment and now bit into her flesh with a thousand teeth.

“No,” she cried. “Not again. I can’t take anymore!” But the great flood was already in her, breaking against the obstacle, straining and tearing at her. She heard a siren’s sound, strange and shrill, which broke off at its peak and sank back into a breathlessly strangling gurgle: her own voice. “Just breathe calmly. Deep breaths, in and out. Don’t cry, that will only sap your energy.”

Then there was no more breath, only a raging sun in her viscera, igniting a huge fire, scorching her, burning her up. The wave no longer pushed outward, it thrashed back and forth, setting the obstacle in motion, the great solar orb itself. The obstacle, the infernal agony, the child. Her son. Me.

English translation by Geoffrey C. Howes

ANTSCHEL Film Screening at the Österreichische Gesellschaft für Literatur (Austrian Society for Literature)

AUTORINNEN.LEXIKON (Dictionary of Authors)

On the occasion of
PAUL CELAN’s 100th Birthday
Tuesday November 23
5 PM

ÖGL in the Palais Wilczek
Herrengasse 5                                                     CANCELED
1010 Wien
https://www.ogl.at/home/

Notice: The “2-G Rule” is in effect. This requires proof that you have been vaccinated or recovered. For a four-week transitional period, proof of a first vaccination plus a PCR test (within the past 48 hrs.) is also acceptable. The FFP2 mask requirement remains in effect.

A seat reservation (for contact tracing) is also required, with no exceptions. Tel. 01 5338159 or email: office@ogl.at Up to two reservations are allowed per person.

READING AND FILM

Paul Celan:etwas ganz und gar Persönliches‘ – Die Briefe 1934-1970 (Something Entirely Personal” – Letters 1934-1970) (Selected, edited and annotated by Barbara Wiedemann/Suhrkamp)

Cornelius Hell will present the book, and
Bettina Rossbacher will read from it.

“691 letters, 330 of them previously unpublished, to 252 recipients, reveal a wealth of previously unknown biographical facts, making it possible to define his poetology more precisely, as well as showing him in his everyday routine.” (Publisher’s note)

Following this, Susanne Ayoub will show her film “Antschel” (with Klaus Demus / Sound: Barbara Heller) and give a talk about Klaus Demus and Paul Celan.

Moderator: Manfred Müller
In cooperation with the IWM (Institute for Human Sciences)

ANTSCHEL
45 Min. Original German Version.
By Susanne Ayoub (Director+Screenplay+Camera).
with Klaus Demus (narrator)
and Katharina Knap (spoken word)

Translations exist in English, French, Ukrainian, and Romanian.

Paul Celan was from the Bukovina, “the former Habsburg province that has now fallen victim to the loss of history,” as he put it. He was born in 1920 in Czernowitz (Chernivtsi) to a German-speaking Jewish family. The locales of his childhood no longer existed after the Nazi terror. His family was murdered, and he himself was persecuted and imprisoned in a work camp. He escaped death only by good fortune.

Paul Celan’s passport photo

“Antschel” deals with a homeland in language, the language that was Paul Celan’s only place of refuge.

“There was this one thing amidst the losses that remained attainable, nearby, not lost: language.”

The film is a “landscape film.” City views—pictures from the past—turn up again in present-day Czernowitz. A trip to Sadagora, where Celan’s mother was from, leads to the synagogue and the Jewish cemetery.
Celan’s path through postwar Vienna. His identity card as a Jewish refugee.

“I didn’t stay long. I didn’t find what I had hoped to find.”

Susanne Ayoub with Klaus Demus
They drank dry the eyes of the seeing – from “The Jugs”

It is a landscape film in another sense as well: it visually interprets linguistic images from Celan’s poems.

“Think of me as someone you want to need, as I think of you, Paul, with all my might. – Yours, Klaus”

The narrator of the film is Klaus Demus, now 93 years old.
Demus met Celan through Ingeborg Bachmann in Vienna and stayed connected to him for a lifetime.

 

Dedication to “Klaus, my brother”

 

“The only way you can understand poetry is poetically. If you ask what it really means, you haven’t understood what poetry is. Because what it really means is probably ineffable.

 

Le Pont Mirabeau

 

 

In 1970, after years of serious mental crises, Paul Celan drowned himself in the Seine.

Translation Geoffrey C. Howes

Presenting the Baghdad Project in Geneva

DVD + Audiobook

Nearly twenty years have passed since my first return to Iraq, the “Reunion with a Memory,” and the beginnings of my multimedia Baghdad Project. In the meantime this project has assumed a variety of forms. I presented some aspects of it in Geneva, along with excerpts from the Baghdad Fragments, the audio play, and the film.

https://sgea.ch/…/susanne-ayoub-wien-baghdad-fragments…/

Prof. Armin Westerhoff’s introduction
Announcement in the Société Genevoise d’Études allemandes
Reading from the story “Revolution”

Translation Geoffrey C. Howes

Univ.Prof. Hans-Juergen Schrader: the author and the literary scholar
Lac Leman

ENDE DER KINDHEIT – CHILDHOOD’S END

Women in long dresses
tightly laced
men with
tall hats
monocle and
choking collars
standing in front
of coaches fountains
garden bowers
velvet curtains
imitation garlands
captured in sepia
for ever

so strange to the child
the little hands leaf
through the pages
the mother points here and there
that was my aunt
her sons only
one daughter
look grandpa and grandma
and that girl there looks like
you

they all live nowhere
but in this book
it fills up gradually
the child has long been
a child no more
but remains a child
for one person
until the final
day

now she is
in the family album
the child also grown
old
inserts
the last photo

(August 2021)

 

Translated by Geoffrey C. Howes

MIXED DOUBLES A radio play on Southwest Broadcasting (SWR)

 

MIXED DOUBLES A radio play on Southwest Broadcasting (SWR)

A mystery on SWR 4: “Mixed Doubles” won bronze at the Zons Radio Play Festival in 2014.

Produced as a “dialect mystery” because Germans consider Austrian German a dialect.

Dunja comes home and finds her lover Oliver dead in the living room. A silver stiletto, a souvenir from Spain turned murder weapon, is stuck in his back. Dunja desperately calls up her husband Jo, who is on a business trip in the Netherlands. It turns out that he was well aware of Dunja’s unfaithfulness. He is not very surprised by his rival’s death. Then the doorbell rings. Oliver’s wife Melly is at the door.

 

Link for listening and downloading:
https://www.swr.de/swr4/programm-bw/gemischtes-doppel-100.html

Translator Geoffrey C. Howes

ABSCHIED – FAREWELL

HELENE AYOUB born WAGNER
17/08/1928 – 29/06/2021

Helene Ayoub had a long life, a long illness and a long death. She was a brave woman, even daring in her youth, and did not shy away from any adventure. She followed her love for my father Karim to Iraq. There, she experienced and survived three revolutions before she escaped back to her homeland. She loved her freedom and her independence more than anything, and yet had to endure being completely dependent on outside help due to her illness. She never complained. She was the most uncompromising person you can imagine, which didn’t always make dealing with her easy. She didn’t know about pretense. Her dream to become a singer did not come true, but the memory of her melodious voice and the songs she sang for us will remain. Also, her cleverness, her wit, her inner strength. Rest in peace, dear Mama.


Translator Herbert Krill

FAREWELL FROM MY MOTHER (1928 – 2021)

 

As a farewell, a reminder to listen, a scene out of the audio book ‘Born in Baghdad. Meeting Memory’:
(in German

 

Black image. No memory. Speechless. Repressed. Forgotten. The child has no past. Life is here, in Vienna. I have no roots. I have no homeland. Gray mixes with the black. Half-light. Slowly it grows brighter. The contours of a living room begin to emerge. A photograph on the wall gradually becomes visible. A couple. An old black-and-white picture, yellowed, yellowish paper. A bridal couple. My parents. My mother was married in black.

Translator Geoffrey Howes

 

 

2021: Geh den Luftweg – Tread the airway

HIMMELSCHIFF
Benütz die Sturmspur
sing das Regenwort
Unterwetter über Wolken
geh den Luftweg
immerfort

SKY SHIP

Full Moon - the Sky above Vienna 31. Dezember 2020 8ma.m.
Full moon over Vienna on December 31, 2020 at 8 o’clock in the morning

Use the stormtrack
sing the rainword
underweather above clouds
tread the airway
evermore

From the book of poems “You Talking to Me—About Homeland, about Love, about Death” (2016) by Susanne Ayoub

Translation Geoffrey Howes

 

 

Christmas

Christmas – as it once was. A postcard souvenir from Baghdad:

Christmas, as it once was. A photograph from Vienna back in the day:

 

ANTSCHEL in Kiew

Last but not Least: ANTSCHEL in Kyiv 

The final presentation of this film this year is not an online screening, but an event at the Dovzhenko Centre in Kyiv, in cooperaton with the Austrian Cultural Forum Kyiv: 

Thursday, December 3, 2020, 7 p.m. 

The program includes a discussion of Paul Celan’s life and work as well as poetry readings by the leading Ukrainian authors Serhij Zhadan and Kateryna Kalytko.  The discussion will be moderated by Evgenia Lopata, the curator of a series of Celan projects in Ukraine and abroad.

Translation Geoffrey Howes

https://austriaukraine.com/de/events/paul-celan-abend-mit-serhij-zhadan-und-kateryna-kalytko/


On the program there is also a screening of the documentary film “Antschel,” shot in 2020 by the Austrian director and poet Susanne Ayoub, with the participation of  Celan’s close friend, the Austrian art historian Klaus Demus.

 

 

Parting

The gingko tree drops its leaves
on a single day
the squirrel retrieves the nut that
lay hidden there
in Shatzel Hall
the raccoon sits chagrined
beneath the bench
where the last Mohicans
smoked their peace pipes
one long summer long
deep in the sky hangs a birdsong
a melody called past and gone
winter is coming
we will not meet again
and next spring
nothing will be as it was
the year brings only newness
that’s a lovely song (Ohio 2008)

Translated by Geoffrey C. Howes 

 

November 23 –  Paul Celan’s 100th Birthday

The original title of my article was “Tiefsee einer Seele” (Deep Sea of a Soul), after a quotation from Celan’s first book, “Der Traum vom Traume” (The Dream of the Dream).

Paul Celan in Vienna:
“I didn’t stay long. I didn’t find what I had hoped to find.”
Still, he left an indelible trace in Vienna. 


On the occasion of his hundredth birthday, in the weekend edition “ALBUM” in the “Standard”:

https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000121859228/paul-celan-verlust-der-heimat-trauer-um-die-eltern

In December 1947, Paul Celan illegally crossed the Austrian border.

Translation Geoffrey Howes

 

The bell tower of Schallendorf after World War II. From the town chronicle. Photographer unknown.

 

 

 

… and after knocking on every darkly trembling window, I ended up in the very last farmstead in that village. It was called Schallendorf.”
 

‘ANTSCHEL’ IN GENEVA

Susanne Ayoub (Vienna) presents a selection from her literary and cinematic oeuvre with emphasis on her film about Paul Celan, “Antschel” (2020)

 

Part One: The Film “Antschel” (2020)
Thursday, October 15, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Collège Sismondi, Aula, Chemin Eugène-Rigot 3, 1202 Geneva

 

 

ANTSCHEL in The Literarische Quartier ALTE SCHMIEDE Vienna

MONDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 7 p.m.
PRESENTATION OF THE FILM AND READING KLAUS DEMUS

ALTE SCHMIEDE
Schönlaterngasse 9
1010 Wien

You can watch via Livestream. Link dor Online-Screening:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX8RTZAWfQA

45 Min. Original German Version.
By Susanne Ayoub (Director+Screenplay+Camera).
with Klaus Demus (narrator)
and Katharina Knap (spoken word).

Translations exist in English, French, Ukrainian, and Romanian

Paul Celan was from the Bukovina, “the former Habsburg province that has now fallen victim to the loss of history,” as he put it. He was born in 1920 in Czernowitz (Chernivtsi) to a German-speaking Jewish family. The locales of his childhood no longer existed after the Nazi terror. His family was murdered, and he himself was persecuted and imprisoned in a work camp. He escaped death only by good fortune.

“There was this one thing amidst the losses that remained attainable, nearby, not lost: language.”

Paul Celan’s passport photo

“Antschel” deals with a homeland in language, the language that was Paul Celan’s only place of refuge.

The film is a “landscape film.” City views—pictures from the past—turn up again in present-day Czernowitz. A trip to Sadagora, where Celan’s mother was from, leads to the synagogue and the Jewish cemetery.
Celan’s path through postwar Vienna. His identity card as a Jewish refugee.

“I didn’t stay long. I didn’t find what I had hoped to find.”

Susanne Ayoub with Klaus Demus
lThey drank dry the eyes of the seeing – from “The Jugs” 
It is a landscape film in another sense as well: it visually interprets linguistic images from Celan’s poems.

The narrator of the film is Klaus Demus, now 93 years old. He met Celan through Ingeborg Bachmann in Vienna and stayed connected to him for a lifetime.

“Think of me as someone you want to need, as I think of you, Paul, with all my might. – Yours, Klaus”

 

Dedication to „Klaus , my brother.“

 

“The only way you can understand poetry is poetically. If you ask what it really means, you haven’t understood what poetry is. Because what it really means is probably ineffable.”

Le Pont Mirabeau

In 1970, after years of serious mental crises, Paul Celan drowned himself in the Seine.

Translation Geoffrey Howes

 

MARIE. A CASE. On the German World Service

Presented by the German World Service Cologne as part of the series “Blue Crime”
on Saturday August 29, 2020 at 12:05 a.m. (available for 7 additional days)

 

MARIE. A Case.
By Susanne Ayoub
Featuring Gerti Drassl, Stefano Bernardin
Markus Meyer, Wolfgang Hübsch
Andreas Patton and Ulli Maier

Director: Eva Garthe
Production: ORF 2011
Length: 52’21”

Translation Geoffrey Howes

In her audio drama “Marie. A Case,” Susanne Ayoub tells a true story from the year 1905, quoting from original documents, court records, testimony, press reports, and letters. The character’s names, like the letter from Marie that frames and runs through this audio drama, are fictional. Marie Lerch, the well brought-up twenty-one-year-old daughter of a mayor, has a secret relationship with the dubious merchant’s assistant Wolf Hauser. But her parents urge her to get engaged to the respected but lackluster law clerk Neumann. Seeing her parents’ marriage as a bad example, Marie tries to find a way out of her dilemma. She poisons Neumann with cyanide and—just to be doubly certain—shoots him in the mouth with a stolen revolver. In his expert report, the resident physician attests that “she possesses a far greater than average education.” However, the accused seems to “lack a sense of shame and honor, and embodies loose ideas about the nature of the law.” In court, Marie Lerch serves up fabricated stories and gets tangled up in contradictions. She is ultimately sentenced to death by guillotine. Over a thousand spectators flock to her execution.

Preparing the gallows

 

 

 

 

 

HEIMKEHR – HOMECOMING

Alone in the dark
eyes shut
a gray glow
I don’t see
but I do see
the shape made of gray
it is a woman
she’s lost her husband
she’s lost her son
sisters and brothers
lost neighbors and friends
I want to get away
then he nears
he has no hands no legs
he has no feet no arms
no more eyes
he finds no ears
he is so near
I can smell

the rot
I cannot get away
the third one has only
one voice I’m
lying on my back
he says
hands folded
on his chest
hands
tainted with blood
I’m coming home
with all honors
shrouded in the stuff
of my homeland
of the flag
I want to wake up
it’s not a dream

AT WAR. Poetry by Susanne Ayoub.
In progress

Translation Geoffrey Howes




 

MARIE.A CASE. on North German Broadcasting Corporation – NDR

MARIE. A Case.
An Audio Drama by Susanne Ayoub
North German Broadcasting Corporation (NDR)
Saturday, 8 August, 2020 9:05 pm – 10:00 pm (+ recording accessible for 7 days)

https://www.ndr.de/nachrichten/info/sendungen/hoerspiel_kriminalhoerspiel/Hoerspiel-Marie-Ein-Fall,sendung1047334.html

 

This audio drama tells a true crime story, quoting from original documents, court records, expert opinions, newspaper reports, and letters.
The names of the characters are fictitious, as is “Marie’s letter,” which frames and runs through the play.

Translation Geoffrey Howes

Scene 14. Courtroom.

Presiding Judge
But you did meet again with Hauser in the meantime?

Marie
I said I fell down. But he didn’t believe me. My father was afraid he’d report us to the police.

Presiding Judge
So your father also knew about the abortion?

Marie
I’d told him that if I have to marry the law clerk, I’ll kill myself. My father wanted to help me. But then Hauser threatened to make the abortion public. I acquired a revolver, one that would make as little noise as possible.

Presiding Judge
How did you get a hold of the weapon? That’s no piece of cake.

Marie
The revolver had belonged to a man who committed suicide. My father, who was the mayor, had brought it home from the town hall and put it away in a case, which I took.

Presiding Judge
You did not kill yourself with it, but used money to silence your boyfriend.

Marie
Yes, he always needed money, and I always had enough to provide it again and again. That’s why I said yes when the law clerk asked me for my hand once again. But then I was sorry I’d done it.

 

ANTSCHEL – A film in progress 3

Klaus Demus, Paul Celan’s friend since youth, and himself a poet:

“The only way you can understand poetry is poetically. If you ask what it really means, you haven’t understood what poetry is. Because what it really means is probably ineffable.”

A quotation from a letter of Paul Celan’s: “Poems are alos gifts—gifts to those who are paying attention.
 

ANTSCHEL – A film in progress

The film’s narrator is Paul Celan’s friend from youth, Klaus Demus. The two young poets met in Vienna in 1948.

Passfoto Paul Celan

Klaus Demus in an interview:

I was an art historian by profession, at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. I identified pictures that were in storage without titles, collected over centuries, and I named over fifty artists. And I found out everything about the paintings that was needed for the catalogs I published.

Ayoub interviewing Klaus Demus

That was my second passion. I am not an artist. I was interested in visual arts, especially the art of my own era, and for a time I looked at and pursued poetry merely as an amateur. Only later did I recognize it as a calling. In that phase of awareness of my actual existence, I met Paul Celan.

Translation Geoffrey Howes

Celan with Nani and Klaus Demus
 

IT IS TIME FOR IT TO BE TIME – on the 50th anniversary of Paul Celan’s death

On April 19, 1970, Paul Celan left his apartment on Avenue Émile Zola where he had lived alone for the past two years, near the Mirabeau Bridge over the Seine. He never returned.

 

 

 

“IT IS TIME FOR IT TO BE TIME” Susanne Ayoub on Paul Celan

on the 50th anniversary of his death
Der Standard/ ALBUM. April 18-19, 2020

 

BREAD AND ROSES by Susanne Ayoub

 


ORF Radio – Ö1 in the series “HÖRBILDER” (Audio Images), Saturday April 18, 2020, 9:05 a.m. (available for 7 additional days at https://oe1.orf.at)

with Gerti Drassl, Silvia Meisterle, Johanna Tomek, Karl Menrad, Wolfgang Rupert Muhr, Klaus Uhlich, Aimie Rehburg, and guest appearances by Markus Hering and Floran Teichtmeister. Directed by Susanne Ayoub. Sound by Robert Pavlecka. Edited by Elisabeth Stratka.

https://oe1.orf.at/programm/20200418/595317/Pionierinnen-Adelheid-Popp-und-Rosa-Mayreder

 

1919: One hundred and one years ago, Austrian women could vote for the first time. The path leading there had been long and rough. Susanne Ayoub presents portraits of two of the steadfast champions of a woman’s right to vote in her audio piece “Bread and Roses”: the middle-class writer Rosa Mayreder fought for the education and social recognition of women; the Social Democratic politician Adelheid Popp represented the interests of working women, especially the demand that to this day has not been met: equal pay for equal work.

Translation Geoffrey Howes

 

ZWEI MAUTHAUSEN FILME VON SUSANNE AYOUB – Once Upon a Time in Mauthausen

FREITAG , 28.02.2020 19:00 Uhr

URANIA FILM-SOIREE

in Urania, Vienna
 

ONCE UPON A TIME IN MAUTHAUSEN. 60‘. A Trio Art Team Production 2010
in Coop with United Alien TV 2010/2012. Premiere Jewish Film Festival Vienna 2012

Mauthausen-GemaeldeHow does one live in Mauthausen nowadays?
Writer and Director Susanne Ayoub has talked to the people in Mauthausen? How do the handle the past of this place.
Mauthausen-HausfassadeMauthausen, a contemplative little town in Upper Austria with an baroque riverside that gives a quite idyllic impression. But in our collective memory this place is mainly connected with the NS-regime and the terror oft he concentration camp.

(quotation from the newspaper The Standard, Vienna, 11/18/2011

 

reh_mit_ohren_mauthausen

MAY IN MAUTHAUSEN. Short Film, 14 Minutes. A Trio Art Team Production 2008.

The scene of the film is in the former concentration camp Mauthausen. Inside the memorial museum at Mauthausen an opening of a new exhibition is taking place. There are speeches, a buffet and wine. Outside the museum lies the abandoned camp. The spirit of the ‘angel of noon’ wanders through this darkness.

The poem The Angel of Noon, which was written by Jean Cayrol while he was imprisoned in Mauthausen, accompanies the film.May in Mauthausen poses the question of how to remember, how commemoration is possible.

The images, which accompany the angel of noon on his meanderings through the camp, convey, more than his words can, the horror, which does not go away.

Translation Geoffrey Howes

 

SCHLAFLOS – Sleepless

My angel if you watch
My angel if you watch over me
I’ll listen in the dark
no breath
just
fear
I
that heavy hour
before twilight
ghostly yesterdays
revenge retribution
black thoughts in a round dance
My angel you help me get beyond
if you sleep
I am lost
if your wing protects me
I will find morning
find my way to the light

IN WAR. A Poetic Cycle by Susanne Ayoub.
In progress.

Translation Geoffrey Howes

 

HAMOUKAR* – The Dawn

 

Down by the river
freshness greens
all that grows
the fish swim
close to the bank
evenings the deer
stand at forest’s edge
those down there
how well they live

 

 

with water and meadow
sun and woods
all that’s left for us
is drought
and cold and stone
Yet from injustice
a sharp weapon
can be forged

the valley begins at the mountain
we will join
those down there
and take the light and warmth
the full stomachs
the contentment
we’ll take the peace
they didn’t share with us
no one will possess it

IN WAR. A poetic cycle by Susanne Ayoub.
In progress.

*5500 years ago, during the first known war of humankind, the city of Hamoukar, near the present-day border of Iraq and Syria, was obliterated.

Translation Geoffrey Howes

 

THE CARAVAGGIO MYSTERY: An audio drama by Susanne Ayoub

 

Staircase in the Vienna Broadcasting Center

Broadcast premiere
Saturday October 12, 2019, Radio Ö1
“Hörbilder” (Audio Images) 9:05-10:00 a.m.
https://oe1.orf.at/programm/20191012/573983/Michelangelo-Caravaggio-Der-beruehmteste-Kunstraub-der-Welt
available for streaming 7 additional days

Bacchus by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

and
Saturday October 19, WDR 3 (West German Broadcasting 3)
“Kulturfeature“  (Cultural Feature) 3:04 – 4:00 p.m.
https://www1.wdr.de/radio/wdr3/programm/sendungen/wdr3-kulturfeature/caravaggio-102.html
The production will be available for streaming and downloading on WDR 3 until October 18, 2020

with Michael Dangl, Markus Hering, Sarah Jung, Katharina Knap, Karl Menrad and Raphael Sas. Thanks go out to Maria Teresa Galluzzo and Giuseppe Ricciardo. Directed by Susanne Ayoub – Engineered by Robert Pavlecka und Anna Kuncio – Edited by Elisabeth Stratka

An ORF production in cooperation with WDR (West German Broadcasting) 2019

The stolen Caravaggio: La Natività

An angel falls from heaven. The baby is lying on the bare floor. His mother sits before him. She seems weak, weary, resigned to her fate. The men stand around her. All of them are looking at the child, and even the ox pushes forward. Only the man at her side does not look at the baby, he turns away, questioning? The woman is young. The man at her side seems much older. His hair is nearly white. Or is this an effect of the light falling on him from above? Caravaggio’s famous light. He introduced this radiance to the art of painting. La Luce del Vero, the light of truth. Mann an ihrer Seite sieht es nicht an, er wendet sich um, fragend?

 

Caravaggio´s portrait as decapitated Goliath

“The Caravaggio Mystery” begins on a stormy night in Palermo in October 1969. The altarpiece of the Oratorio di San Lorenzo depicting Christ’s birth, painted by Caravaggio, has disappeared. Like the famous chiaroscuro technique in his painting, Carravaggio’s life was marked by light and shadow, and so this brazen art theft fits the artist’s dramatic biography.

Ayoub’s drama combines the story of the theft and the subsequent intensive and often dramatic investigation in the crime with scenes from Caravaggio’s life, his years on the run as a murderer fleeing from the papal ban, until shortly before his death in Sicily, when he paints one of his most moving pictures: the Natività.

Fontana Pretoria

Is it hanging in the living room of a secret art lover? Was it buried with a Mafia boss? According to the Sicilian Mafia expert Maria Teresa Galluzzo, who guides us through the play, only one thing is certain: the Mafia organized the theft. No one else could have carried it out so boldly and flawlessly.

 

Fontana Pretoria

 

 

[Photos of cast and production]

Websites zum Caravggio-Krimi

ORF:
Michelangelo Caravaggio – Der berühmteste Kunstraub der Welt
WDR:
Kulturfeature – Caravaggio

 

IRAQI SAGA – Part three

Was it harder for him
than for us?
I don’t know
the answer
He took it hard
Ben was a man

But
there was no man to show
what manhood is
his uncle
the landlord the butcher
was no guide
he didn’t even notice
the little guy

Poetry Reading Gerard Manley Hopkins Festival Newbridge Ireland

Ayoub explaining her Baghdad Project

 

 

 



 

 

 

Iraqi Saga, Part three
IN WAR. Poetry by Susanne Ayoub.
In progress

IRAQI SAGA Begin + IRAQI SAGA Part two: see Archive

Translation Geoffrey C. Howes

 

IRAQI SAGA – the next lines

 

At the inn she served
wine and beer
and roast pork
there was pork every day
roasted andbreaded and boiled
pork pork
pork

Ben can’t remember
he was too small
but even he knew this
since she repeated it every day
pork pork
pork

There was nothing else
be glad you have something to eat
her cousin said
be grateful
pork
pork
pork

Next lines  of Iraqi Saga
AT WAR. Poetry by Susanne Ayoub.
In progress

Translation Geoffrey Howes

 

The IRAQI SAGA begins

IRAQI SAGA – We came from Mosul

My mother so young
alone with two children
my brother Ben still a baby
came to her cousin
who ran an inn
with her husband
in a small town

My mother and her mother
her father and her siblings
they were musicians
back then in Mosul
out of all of them only
we were

Still alive
My mother the singer
her daughter the drummer
and Benny, the little boy

First verses out of Iraqi Saga
IN WAR. Poetry by Susanne Ayoub.
In progress

Translation Geoffrey Howes

 

 

CAFÉ PRÜCKEL: A READING FROM “THE FAÇADE”

Thursday July 4, 2019
8:00 p.m.
CAFÉ PRÜCKEL
Stubenring 4
1010 Vienna

The house before her had a single story and three tall chimneys with smoke rising from them. She came closer until she could read the sign on the façade: Josef Lang Bakery. Entrance just around the corner. The finger pictured below this pointed the direction. Founded 1830.

The bakery door opened. A tall man came out, glanced quickly at her, and turned away again. She tried to speak to him, but she couldn’t get a word out. Another gust of wind caught her from behind, driving patches of fog ahead of it. The man disappeared in the billowing whiteness. She ran across the road and continued until she could make out his black coat up ahead of her. With his head bowed down, he hurried away. There were only a few steps between her and her house when her eyes lit on a bright red spot, right by the curb. She bent down and found the lost playing card. The queen of hearts was in the company of the jack of spades. She called out after him. This time her voice was clear, but it was drowned out by a passing car. Steel-spoked wheels jolted over the old cobblestones. She drew the key from her coat pocket and was going to unlock the front door when she bumped into rough stone. There was no door there. There was no house.  

As part of the Podium Summer Reading Series “Distant Mirrors—Literature and History,” Susanne Ayoub will read from her novella “Die Fassade” (The Façade). The text is a further stage of her contribution to the artistic dictionary of architecture Sprache der Straße (Language of the Street), edited by Mark Gilbert, Hans Hinterholzer and Wolfgang Niederwieser, and published by Sonderzahl in 2005.

 

WAR IS

War is

an iconoclast
a bookworm
a movie star in
Cinemascope

 

a carnivore
a bone stripper
liver kidney spleen and
lung
He snubs nothing

 

Iron Curtain of memory
ink stamped on hands
on desert floors in ocean sands
aboard ships with no harbor

 

 

IN WAR. Poetry by Susanne Ayoub.
In progress

Translation Geoffrey Howes

 

WOMEN BEFORE THE RIGHT TO VOTE

Give Me Liberty Or Give me Death *


BUCHHANDLUNG THALIA

Landstraße Hauptstraße 2A, 1030 Wien

SATURDAY MARCH 16, 2019, 3:00 p.m.
With her audio drama “Brot und Rosen” (Bread and Roses; ORF 2019), Susanne Ayoub looks at the beginnings of the women’s movement in Europe, tracing an arc from the French Revolution to the Russian Revolution. She will quote and read from the writings of revolutionary women, suffragettes, and women who fought against sexual double standards.

Rosa Mayreder

Rosa Mayreder 1878-1938
Author
Throughout the history of human development, women appear in a strange twilight: now superhuman, now subhuman; half divine or half diabolical; as a prophetess and Sibyl endowed with the ability to work miracles, or as a witch and sorceress possessing demonic powers. Oppression to the point of slavery and glorification to the point of worship.

Ottilie Baader 1847-1925
Homeworker, Social Democrat
When I was working, a small clock stood in front of me, and meticulous care was taken that this dozen collars did not take any longer than the last dozen, and nothing could make you happier than saving a couple of minutes. And as the years passed by you didn’t realize you were young and that life hadn’t given you a single thing.

Olympe de Gouges

Olympe de Gouges, 1748-1793
Writer and Activist during the French Revolution
Preposterous, conceited, scientifically bombastic, and degenerate, the men in this century of Enlightenment and ingenuity, from a position of the coarsest ignorance, are trying to rule despotically over a gender that possesses every possible intellectual capacity..

 

Suffragette Lady Florence Norman 1916

Mary Wollstonecraft, 1759-1797
Author
How grossly do they insult us who thus advise us only to render ourselves gentle, domestic brutes!

Force feeding of English suffragettes in prison.

Alexandra Michailowna Kollontai

Alexandra Kollontai, 1872-1952
People’s Commissar during the October Revolution, the first female cabinet minister and later the first female diplomat of the Soviet Union
Because they are lonely, people tend delude themselves in a predatory and unhealthy manner that they will find a soulmate of the opposite sex. They see cunning eros as the only power that can dispel the darkness of loneliness, even if only for a while.

Helene Stöcker 1869-1943
Sexual ethicist

Let us recall this statement: “The father is not related to his illegitimate child.” Who could have ever come up with this monstrous mockery of all natural and honorable feelings?

 

*Suffragettes demonstrating in London, 1910

Reading  Buchhandlung Thalia Landstraße. Foto Johanna Grabner

About the Russian Revolution, free love instead of the the des bourgeoise ideal of everlasting marriage. Foto Johanna Grabner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BREAD AND ROSES

Susanne Ayoub’s new audio play marking 100 years of women’s suffrage

Premiere broadcast ORF Radio – in the series “HÖRBILDER” (Audio Images) Saturday, February 15, 2019 9:05 a.m.
(+ available for 7 days on https://oe1.orf.at)

with Gerti Drassl, Silvia Meisterle, Johanna Tomek, Karl Menrad, Wolfgang Rupert Muhr, Klaus Uhlich, and Aimie Rehburg, with guest appearances by Markus Hering und Floran Teichtmeister 
Directed by Susanne Ayoub; Sound by Robert Pavlecka; Edited by Elisabeth Stratka

 

One hundred and one years ago, Austrian women could vote for the first time. The path leading to this had been long and rough. Susanne Ayoub presents portraits of two of the steadfast champions of a woman’s right to vote in her audio piece “Bread and Roses”: the middle-class writer Rosa Mayreder fought for the education and social recognition of women; the Social Democratic politician Adelheid Popp represented the interests of working women, especially the demand that to this day has not been met: equal pay for equal work.

https://oe1.orf.at/artikel/654800



Translation Geoffrey Howes

 

HANNAH – A Film based on a screenplay by Susanne Ayoub

Still gripping.
And unfortunately just as timely as when it first came out:

February 8, 2019, 8:15 p.m.
Repeated

HANNAH (1996)

with Elfi Eschke and August Zirner

Book by Susanne Ayoub

Directed by Reinhard Schwabenitzky

Hannah, an advertising executive, falls in love with her boss without knowing that she is putting her life in danger. It turns out his toy company produces more than just dolls.

 

 

Readers Theater: Bread and Roses

DECEMBER 17, 2018 6:00 p.m.
Arbeiterkammer Wien -Bibliothek
Prinz Eugen-Straße 20-22
1040 Wien

On December 18 it will be exactly one hundred years since the constitutive National Assembly adopted electoral rules including the general right to vote for women.

A milestone for equal rights for women that was achieved only by the resolute demands and struggles of many women that lasted many decades.

In her play “Bread and Roses,” Susanne Ayoub portrays two important activists in the Austrian women’s movement who are representative of many others: the middle-class writer Rosa Mayreder, who fought for the education and social recognition of women, and the Social Democratic politician Adelheid Popp represented the interests of working women, especially the demand that to this day has not been met: equal pay for equal work.

The play describes the very different fates of the two women as well as their social and political milieus.

After the play, the significance of the right to vote will be examined in a panel discussion with the historian Johanna Gehmacher and the migration researcher Bernhard Perchinig. Johanna Gehmacher will illuminate the historical importance of the introduction of women’s right to vote. Bernhard Perchinig will take a look at those who have no right to vote in our times. Who is affected, and what does it mean for immigrants, particularly for women?

Rosa Mayreder on the 500 schilling bill, 1997

Participants:

Susanne Ayoub, born in 1956 in Baghdad, is an author and director.

Johanna ​Gehmacher​, historian.

Bernhard Perchinig, political scientist.

Maren Rahmann, singer, performance artist, musician.

Johanna Tomek, actor, longtime principal cast member and radio voice, lives in Burgenland and Vienna. SHE WILL STAND IN FOR DORIS MAYER, WHO PASSED AWAY ON DECEMBER 6.

 

BEACH. VIEWS

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 12, 7:30 PM

THEATER DELPHIN
Blumauergasse 24
1020 Wien

As part of Litera-Tour 2018, Susanne Ayoub will read excerpts from “Views,” dialogues created in association with Dieter Kleinpeter’s picture cycle “strand:identitäten” (beach:identities).

Dieter Kleinpeter, ‘strand:identitäten’ (beach:identities)

LITERA-TOUR 2018

by and with

Peter Ahorner, Susanne Ayoub, Manfred Chobot, Christine Huber, 

Katharina Köller, Erwin Leder, Christina Vivenz

Music: Cool Jazz

Organization: Erwin Leder

Translation Geoffrey C. Howes

 

Millions of Barrels of Oil*

Through Baghdad on a bus

above the people

the things

visitors

filming the misery

a delegation

well fed and well dressed

with a banner

with convictions

a little

courage

found out a lot

achieved nothing

and what they had to report

wasn’t believed

in the place they returned to

it didn’t fit in

people were in the mood

for war

for injustice

later everyone knew about it

* Millions of Barrels of Oil: Protest sign at a demonstration in the oil-rich, bitterly poor south of Iraq: “2,500,000 barrels per day; $70 per barrel; 2,500,000 × 70 = 0. Sorry, Pythagoras: we’re in Basra”

 

IN WAR. A poetic cycle by Susanne Ayoub. In progress.
Translation Geoffrey C. Howes

 

 

BREAD AND ROSES: A THEATER PIECE. 100 YEARS OF WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE IN AUSTRIA

“Woman: Superhuman? Subhuman? Half divine or half diabolical? Prophetess? Witch and sorceress? Oppression to the point of slavery and glorification to the point of worship.” (Rosa Mayreder)

MONDAY NOVEMBER 12, 7 PM

 

 

THEATER L.E.O.
Ungargasse 18
1030 Wien

 

BREAD AND ROSES
The long march to women’s suffrage
and its unswerving advocates Rosa Mayreder and Adelheid Popp

Assembled from original quotations and staged by Susanne Ayoub

Readers Theater
with
Doris Mayer as Rosa Mayreder
Susanne Ayoub as Adelheid Popp
Music by Maren Rahmann

 

 

10th MAUTHAUSEN DIALOG FORUM with two films by Susanne Ayoub

“The Holocaust in Film and New Media”
17–18 September 2018

17 September 4:15-5:15 p.m. 

Susanne Ayoub’s films “May in Mauthausen“ (2008) and “Once Upon a Time in Mauthausen” (2010/2012) will be shown and discussed.

 

 

FILM AND TALK

Saturday March 3, 2018, 10 a.m.

THEATER LEO  Ungargasse 18 1030 Wien

On the occasion of International Women’s Day and 100 years of women’s right to vote, the Landstrasse Women’s Caucus of the Social Democratic Party is showing the feature film “Divine Order” (CH 2017), about the introduction of the right to vote for women in Switzerland in 1971.

Introductory Talk by

Susanne Ayoub + Barbara  Marx

Moderation Saya Ahmad

Women decide. Women get involved. Women organize. We women bring power to culture, economics, work, politics, and volunteer work. We want to make this more visible, and network powerful women from different spheres with each other.

 

Registration is required:
patricia.anderle@spoe.at or 01 713 41 58

 

 

Memory, Fleeing

Sparse grass

and an animal’s skeleton

My feet sunburnt

my skin chapped

sand on the road

wind blows it away

I rapidly walk

the downward path

always downhill

 

IN WAR. A poetic cycle by Susanne Ayoub. In progress.
Translation Geoffrey C. Howes

 

Gerard Manley Hopkins Poetry Festival 2017

Susanne Ayoub was invited to the international Gerard Manley Hopkins Poetry Festival in Kildare, Ireland

21 – 28 July,  2017

Susanne Ayoub reads from the books of poetry SPRICHST DU MIT MIR / You talking to Me and LIEBE / Love. On Fulfilled, Unrequited, and Faded Love.

Nedra Bickham reads the translations into American English by Geoffrey Howes (in collaboration with Nedra Bickham)

 

Bridle, a drawing by Rima Al-Juburi

YOUR ELEMENTS
Your eyes’ nightvelvet
moonskin mild
firetongue
breathless storm
resting
in the shade of your lashes

aus dem Amerikanischen Geoffrey Howes

Rivers of Babylon, Watercolor by Rima Al-Jubur

Your Elements
The velvet of your eyes
As tender as the moon
tongue of fire
breathless storm
suspension
in the shadow of your lashes

aus dem Amerikanischen Nedra Bickham

 

A short poem from the book SPRICHST DU MIT MIR / You Talking to Me, but Geoffrey Howes’s and Nedra Bickham’s translations, both created in collaboration with the author, differ significantly.

The pictures by Rima Al-Juburi are reproduced in the book.

 

Link to the Festival >>

Link to Facebook >>

 

Alma’s Little Photographer at the Literaturhaus Vienna

Thursday June 1, 2017
7 p.m.

Film screening 1 hr. 10 min.
with a discussion about the genesis of the radio feature about the film.

The author and filmmaker Susanne Ayoub presents her film Alma’s Little Photographer about the last contemporary witness who knew Alma Mahler-Werfel and her family personally.

Susanne Ayoub interviewing Erich Rietenauer

Seven of Erich Rietenauer’s 90 years were so extraordinary that they determined the course of the rest of his life. As a small boy from impoverished circumstances at a Christmas party given by the politician Julius Tandler, he was suddenly face-to-face with a lady from high society. He never forgot her eyes of “steel blue,” her fragrance, or her embrace. Her name was Alma Mahler-Werfel.

ALMAS KLEINER FOTOGRAF / Alma’s Little Photographer – with Erich Rietenauer – Regina Liane Löw, camera and editing –Herbert Gnauer, sound – Susanne Ayoub, script and direction – A production of the Trio Art Team in cooperation with ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation), 2016

Erich Rietenauer’s archive – photo by Regina Liane Löw

Link to the event:
http://www.literaturhaus.at/index.php?id=205&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=2580&cHash=79075dc16484497facf33061c6035338

 

THE JEWEL GARDEN IN LAXENBURG

A Reading in the Laxenburg Public Library & Media Library
Wednesday March 22, 2017

The Laxenburg Public Library & Media Library invites you to a reading by the author Susanne Ayoub from her novel “The Jewel Garden”.
The event begins at 7:00 p.m. at Wiener Straße 2a.

A FAMILY DRAMA WITH the feel of a thriller

For Laura, Christmas Eve 1955 begins like so many others, with discord in the family home. But then an unexpected visitor shows up: Younis, a young man from Baghdad. And all at once everything changes. Before the year is out, Laura and Younis are a couple. Laura leaves Vienna, her parents, and her friends, and follows Younis to Baghdad.

In the Garden of the Gods in the epic of Gilgamesh, the trees, leaves, and fruits are made of precious stones. There are no thorns, only crystals; no darkness, only sunshine. For Laura, the path into her new life seems as fabulous as this vision. The world of the Near East with its colors, fragrances, and sounds immediately draws her under its spell. But beyond the magnificent mansions of Baghdad, where the affluent live in isolation, this idyll comes to an end. The assassination of the royal family topples the Iraqi monarchy. Alone at home with her small child, Laura experiences the outbreak of civil war. Nothing remains as it was. Younis too becomes a different person. He leads a second life that Laura is not allowed to know about. She realizes she has married a stranger.

View of Baghdad by Rima Al-Juburi

Susanne Ayoub tells the story of a brave young woman’s attempt to gain access to a foreign culture, of differing worldviews and social norms. She describes the high and low points of a marriage and sheds light on the background of a politically dramatic time, from the assassination of the Hashemite royal family to the revolutions and civil wars that followed.

Translation Geoffrey C. Howes

 

SPRICHST DU MIT MIR (You Talking to Me) at DICHTFEST

At the ALTE SCHMIEDE on

Tuesday  February 7 7:00 p.m.

with poems by Susanne Ayoub

Buchcover Sprichst du mit mir Löcker Verlag 2016
Book Cover Sprichst du mit mir Löcker Verlag 2016

“An echo of styles and motifs, permutated, reduced, perpetuated. Addressing and expressing, each in its own form. Mirror images of assertiveness and fragility.”(Christine Huber on Sprichst du mit mir/ You Talking to Me)

 

 

Rima Al Juburi Zeichnung Die Stadt
The Citiy, drawing  by Rima Al Juburi

immersed in words and images in silence in the empty space amidst and between an encounter in the search for clues including the search for own’s own self in notes that report on a back then and a back there on being here and now on something that is and something that isn’t or is no longer or because that is altogether unattainable”
(Peter Paul Wiplinger Notes on a Book of Poetry by Susanne Ayoub)

http://www.alte-schmiede.at/programm

 

 

GESPRÄCHSKULTUR IN LAUTERACH

THURSDAY OKTOBER 13, 2016 7:30 P.M.
Alte Seifenfabrik Lauterach/
Old Soap Factory, Lauterach
12 EUR, register at 05574 680217

alte-seifenfabrik-lauterach

After the successful opening of the Conversation Culture Series with Dr. Hannes Androsch, Conversation Culture in Lauterbach will continue in October.

This time we will be welcoming Susanne Ayoub. She will read from her book “Der Edelsteingarten” (The Jewel Garden), show excerpts from the film, and then engage in conversation with Dr. Franz Josef Köb.

Susanne Ayoub is an Austrian-Iraqi author, journalist, and filmmaker. The story of “The Jewel Garden” is based on the life stories of Susanne Ayoub’s parents. The novel takes place in Baghdad and Vienna, and the protagonists move in the area of tension between two different cultures and religions.

Cover_Edelsteingarten

Susanne Ayoub was born in Baghdad. At the age of six she fled with her mother to Vienna, went to a Catholic boarding school, and later, at her father’s wish, she converted to the Islamic faith. Today Susanne Ayoub lives in Vienna. She has been awarded many prizes for her works.

Become part of a great family story that confronts the question of how foreign, or how at home, one is in a particular country, and what it feels like to live between two cultures and religions. A topic that will probably never lose its relevance, especially in our times.

The Conversation Culture Series is a cooperation between the market town of Lauterbach and the “Ländlebuch” bookstore.

 

> Link to the event

 

ÖSTERREICH LIEST / AUSTRIA READS in KALTENLEUTGEBEN

MONDAY OCTOBER 3, 2016 7 P.M.

buecherei-kaltenleutgeben

KALTENLEUTGEBEN LIBRARY
Haupstraße 72, 2391 Kaltenleutgebenoesterreich-liest         o%cc%88sterreich-liest-in-kaltenleutgeben

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A Novel, 2016, Verlag LangenMüller Munich

In the Garden of the Gods in the epic of Gilgamesh, the trees, leaves, and fruits are made of precious stones. There are no thorns, only crystals; no darkness, only sunshine. For Laura, the path into her new life seems as fabulous as this vision. The world of the Near East with its colors, fragrances, and sounds immediately draws her under its spell. But beyond the magnificent mansions of Baghdad, where the affluent live in isolation, this idyll comes to an end. The assassination of the royal family topples the Iraqi monarchy. Alone at home with her small child, Laura experiences the outbreak of civil war. Nothing remains as it was. Younis too becomes a different person. He leads a second life that Laura is not allowed to know about. She realizes she has married a stranger.

A ”family drama with the feel of a thriller.”

”Killing alone is not enough.”
(Peter Pisa in “Kurier“)

 

www.oesterreichliest.at >

 

 

 

LITERATURE AT THE LANGENLOIS MOVIE THEATER

Literatur im Kino: Im Vierzigerhof Langenlois
Literature at the Movie Theater: In the Vierzigerhof, Langenlois

WEDNESDAY SEPT. 28., 7 P.M.

A reading from “The Jewel Garden”

and the film
“Baghdad Fragments”

BAGHDAD FRAGMENTS
Film essay (42 min.), UA Diagonale 2007

BAGHDAD FRAGMENTS
Film essay (42 min.), UA Diagonale 2007

Shortly before the war breaks out, the author Susanne Ayoub travels to Baghdad to find her family. It is her first encounter with the country of her birth since she left Iraq as a six-year-old with her mother.

DVD und Audiobook

Susanne Ayoub tells about five days of a delegation trip and forty years of a family; about love, separation, and death. The film project “Born in Baghdad,” which she started in 2002, goes unfinished. The film footage, taken without permission to film and amid great difficulties, remained a fragment.

The Iraq she visited in 2002 has now disappeared just like the land of her childhood. Four years later, a film emerged from the project that engages the topic of the fragmentariness, the impossibility of her endeavor.

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THE JEWEL GARDEN

“Life consists of two parts. The past – a dream. The future – a wish.”

 

On Christmas Eve in 1955, the paths of Laura and Younis cross. From the bleak Vienna of the postwar era, Laura follows Younis to his home, Baghdad. The world of the Middle East, with its colors, fragrances and sounds, casts its spell over her. But what started out like a fairy tale soon develops into a nearly hopeless drama … Susanne Ayoub’s novel “The Jewel Garden” (Langen Müller 2016) was inspired by her parents’ moving life story and love story, which are interwoven with the political events in the Iraq of the 1960s.

veranstaltungen.niederösterreich.at >

 

 

 

WILLKOMMEN MENSCH! / WELCOME, FELLOW HUMAN! with the Film BAGHDAD FRAGMENT

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 17,  starting at 2 p.m.

hoffest_plakat_webFREITZENSCHLAG. “recreate“ – As part of this event series, which Johannes Wohlgenannt Zincke brought to life 16 years ago, you are invited this year to a very special event, a court festival in Freitzenschlag. Fenced-in, yet open, an exemplary integrative social event.

In cooperation with the Welcome Fellow Human! Association in Gross Gerungs-Langschlag, a court festival will take place on September 17. The motto “The Tigris and Euphrates meet Stallreitern” can be easily explained: “Stallreitern is the name of the field on which the estate in Freitzenschlag stands. The Tigris and Euphrates are at the center of the war zone from which most of the headlines and refugees in the past year have come,” according to the initiator Johannes Wohlgenannt Zincke.

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The idea was to organize an event where, if possible, all of those seeking asylum and who are being taken care of here can get involved. “A goal toward which everyone is working, a goal that substantially unites us,” as Wohlgenannt Zincke describes it. “In equal part, however, the Austrians who live here are also active, as organizers, artists, staff, or audience. And it is also important to me to demonstrate a line along which social events in Austria can take place. Integrating, incorporating people into the proverbial whole. In view of our experience, these are details that cannot be expressed clearly enough.”

DVD und Audiobook
DVD and Audiobook

The festival begins at 2 p.m. with a reception at the specially constructed Europa Fence, which does make access a bit difficult, but is still open. The fence will be transformed into a gallery: pictures will be shown that have been created collectively by asylum seekers from the Gross Gerungs area as well as artists from the region. After that, musical entertainment until late in the evening is on the schedule: the Children’s Choir, music of the Waldviertel paired with classical music and pop music from the Middle East (DJ Omid) and Central Asia. Food and drink from all these regions will be available. Not least, a film by Susanne Ayoub, “Baghdad Fragment,” will be shown.

programm-recreateJohannes Wohlgenannt Zincke on the subject of refugees and asylum seekers: “What I can do is to get involved with the people who have come to Austria, no matter how they got here. Everyone should have a chance. And perhaps that is my strongest motivation. To advocate for adhering to fundamental rights, regardless of origin and situation, and for preserving the dignity of every human being.”

www.recreate.at

www.willkommenmenschgerungslangschlag.at

 

 

BOOK LAUNCH AT KUPPITSCH BOOKSTORE

 

Buchcover Sprichst du mit mir Löcker Verlag 2016
Book cover, Sprichst du mit mir, Löcker Verlag, 2016

THURSDAY SEPT. 22, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

Book Launch at the
KUPPITSCH BOOKSTORE
Schottengasse 4, 1010 Wien

 

SPRICHST DU MIT MIR / YOU TALKING TO ME
On Origins • On Love • On Death

Poems by Susanne Ayoub
with drawings by Rima Al-Juburi

“You Talking to Me” deals with origins, the idea of home and homeland, with identity, following clues, and memory.

In this book of poetry, the versatile author, who works for various media, publishes new poetry. The poems are illustrated by the painter Rima Al-Juburi, with whom a shared history connects Ayoub: both of them were born in Muslim and Christian family constellations, and both now live in Vienna.

 

Hammurabi
Hammurabi awakes

1001 FLUGVERBOT

Der Himmel über Baghdad

gehört den Sternen

den Vögeln

dem Wind

Flugzeugen nicht

der Himmel über Baghdad

ist ein Gedicht

1001 FLIGHT BANS

The sky above Baghdad

belongs to the stars,

the birds,

the wind.

Not to airplanes.

The sky above Baghdad

is a poem.


Translated by Geoffrey C. Howes

In her pictures and painted porcelain vessels, Rima Al-Juburi captures ancient Mesopotamian motifs. Some of them are reproduced in this book.

www.kuppitsch.at