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Blabbering on...


 
Here's an overview of the lectures, reading sessions, exhibitions and interviews I've done over the last few years. Plus various other stuff with me in it. :)
 

 
19.01.2017
 
Book launch at Chapter 1. Howald, Luxembourg.
 
I was eager to present my translation of Guy Rewenig's work Your Heart of Ice is Hot as Vice in the English bookstore Chapter 1 in Howald. It turned out to be a great evening. I led through the event, reading texts and introducing Guy Rewenig's work to the audience. Guy was happy to answer questions in English, even though he tried to pretend that his English wasn't good enough, but of course it was. We had a terrific Irish band, entertaining us with folk songs, curtesy of my friend Terry Adams. Thank you for the amazing performance, Terry, Terry O'Brien and Joe Rooney! During the second part of evening, the mayor of Hesperange, Marc Lies, joined me to read some love dialogues with me. We had a lot of fun. And the highlight of the evening, in my opinion, was the "sparring match" between me and Änder Millim, a retired English teacher and old school friend of Guy Rewenig. We read Stonewalling, or The Rules of Escalation together, a none-too-polite word-fight between two quarrelsome neighbours. I loved it! A big thank you for everyone who attended the evening and made it special.
 
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11.10.2016
 
Reading Reality Check. Class 7e 2. Lycée Robert-Schuman. Luxembourg.
 
Like last year, I was invited by Luxembourg language teacher Carole Capus to read my short story in front of a group of 7th graders. Again, we talked about 80s rock bands, Sophie Marceau in the movie La Boum, and I was amazed how eager the students were to participate. That's not how I remember my school days! I loved it, and I hope to be back next year. Unfortunately, we forgot to take a class picture this time around.
 

 
31.03.2016
 
Guided tour of the Centre national de littérature. Mersch, Luxembourg.
 
Learning French in the safe environment of a classroom is a lot more boring than going out in the world and actually talking. So I offered my students from the refugee camp to have a look around my workplace and get to know something about Luxembourgish literature. We all enjoyed the afternoon out. From left to right: Ibrahim Hassan, Kasem Alasli, me, Mohammad Jassem, Mario Khalouf, Marwan Almajed and my ever obliging boss, Claude D. Conter.
 
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05.02.2016
 
Radio broadcast. "Visite guidée" [Guided tour] with Valerija Berdi. Radio 100,7.
 
A guided audiotour through our exhibition Korrekturspuren. There were five short parts broadcasted over the course of a few weeks, each featuring one exhibition hall. As one of the curators, I was happy to give explanations (in Luxembourgish) about my exhibits on Emile Schaus's work. The broadcast takes about 7 minutes.
 

 
January 2016
 
Serge Tonnar: Mir wëllen iech ons Heemecht weisen Music video.
 
My first ever appearance in a music video! Luxembourg singer/singwriter Serge Tonnar shot a video for his pro-emigration song Mir wëllen iech ons Heemecht weisen [we want to show you our home country]. Together with my erstwhile significant other Rami and some of our friends from Syria and Iraq, we travelled by train to the North of Luxembourg and performed a dance in the central train station. It was so much fun. Definitely want to do something like that again. You can watch the video on Youtube. I make a few brief appearances in 0:23 (in the back, to the right), 2:52, 3:30 and 3:50. Below you see one of our training sessions for the choreography and to the right me with our instructor, the amazing dance pro Sylvia Camarda.
 
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December 2015-May 2016
 
French classes for refugees. Centre de logopédie, Strassen, Luxembourg.
 
In 2015, the country of Luxembourg took in a considerable number of refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of them were lodged in an old school house not far from where I live. Curious to meet my new fellow residents, I visited their lodgings and struck up a friendship with a teacher from Mossul in northern Iraq. In December 2015, I started to give French classes for her and her family and friends, first at my home, until I was allocated a classroom in their camp in Strassen. This spontaneous idea developped into two fully booked classes, each twice a week. I made some lasting friendships and I think we all had a lot of fun, bemoaning together the tongue-twisting intricacies of the French language. During the early summer months, we took the class outside to the park and complemented it with some mate and a shisha. Has teaching ever been more rewarding! Below, you see some of my students. For some reason, they got it into their head that it was my birthday, so we celebrated with cake and coke, even though it wasn't. LOL So nice.
 
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14.10.2015
 
Vernissage of the exhibition Korrekturspuren – Textmetamorphosen. Centre national de littérature, Mersch, Luxembourg.
 
In October 20015, the Literary Archives celebrated their 20th anniversary. In style, with a yummy chocolate birthday cake, of course. We combined this event with the vernissage of our latest exhibition about the evolution of a text from rough sketch to manuscript to published book. I contributed with a study on Emile Schaus' novel Lisa Timesch and on the opening night, I presented this work, which took the author 40 years to complete, to our guests. Read more about the article in our exhibition catalogue here.
 
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08.10.2015
 
Reading Reality Check. Class 7e 3. Lycée Robert-Schuman. Luxembourg.
 
It was great fun reading my short story to a group of 7th graders. We talked about rock bands in the 1980s and the movie La Boum, all of which play a role in the story. I was really happy at the class' eagerness to participate. Almost makes you want to become a teacher. A big thanks to Carole Capus for inviting me into her class and for taking the picture. I almost disappear amid the students. Can you spot the author?
 
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09.06.2015
 
Diploma Ceremony and Pushkin Evening. Centre culturel et scientifique de Russie, Luxembourg.
 
I passed the Russian A2 test! The students were awarded their diplomas during an evening celebrating the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Two descendants of Pushkin living in France and who were incidentally married to each other told the audience about their famous ancestor and later handed us our diplomas. Unfortunately, no one took a picture of me, but here you see a classmate of mine getting his diploma.
 
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20.04.2015
 
Reading session to promote the new school anthology Lies de bal. LiteraTour, Bettembourg, Luxembourg.
 
Yet another occasion to promote the anthology. By now I almost know my short story by heart. LOL It was a fun evening, the setting in the old castle was beautiful and a lot of people showed up for the reading.
 
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10.01.2015
 
Russian New Year celebration. Centre culturel et scientifique de Russie, Luxembourg.
 
Our Russian language class did a sketch during the New Year festivities at the Russian Cultural Centre in Luxembourg. I even got to sing a few lines from Я свободен (I'm free) by Valery Kipelov. It was great fun, even though sadly no one bothered to take a picture of it. But as you can see from the other photos, it was all very lively and enjoyable. There was an amazing group of performers from Russia who animated us to get involved in some traditional Russian games, and we even had a blind tasting contest, our class A2 against the beginners' class A1. Richard (right) from our class won! To the left and right are our wonderful teachers Olga and Tatjana.
 
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15.11.2014
 
Reading session to promote the new school anthology Lies de bal. Walfer Bicherdeeg, Walferdange, Luxembourg.
 
The reading took place in an old bus parked on the fair grounds. I read my Luxembourgish short story about karaoke, which had been included in the new anthology for Luxembourgish highschools. Later, the authors were available to sign the books, here you see (from left to right) Christiane Ehlinger, Georges Kieffer, Tullio Forgiarini and myself.
 
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21.03.2014
 
4e Journée des archivistes luxembourgeois, Cercle Cité, Luxembourg.
 
I had been invited to speak at the 4th Luxembourg Archivists' Day in Luxembourg City. This year, the general topic was personal data protection. My paper was about Rosemarie Kieffer's will, which I had stumbled upon only weeks before in our archives. At the time, I was quite interested in this author's work, so it was both interesting and disconcerting to find out about her wishes concerning her manuscripts and letters. At the archivists' day, I spoke in Luxembourgish, but the final draft was published in German. You can read it right here.
 
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28.11.2013
 
Vernissage of the exhibition Widmungsbücher / Livres dédicacés. Centre national de littérature, Mersch, Luxembourg.
 
This was the opening night of our new exhibition, which featured the history of 37 books personally signed by the authors and dedicated to friends or acquaintances. As one of the curators, I presented Fernand Hoffmann's mysterious Latin dedication to the visitors.
 
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04.02.2013
 
Reading session with Pernilla Linder. Centre national de littérature, Mersch, Luxembourg.
 
The Danderys Gymnasium from Stockholm, Sweden, was on visit in the Luxembourgish Lycée Michel Rodange. During their stay, they also visited the Literary Archives. We organised a tour around our institute, and rounded the day off with a reading session by Pernilla Linder. This is a Swedish author who has been living in Luxembourg for many years. She read an excerpt from her novel Schwarze Wasser [Black Water] in Swedish, and I read the same part in the German translation. Below, you see Pernilla in a photograph by Philippe Matsas, and the Swedish class visiting the EU-monument in Schengen.
 
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07.11.2012
 
Roger Manderscheid - stille tage in luxemburg. Cinémathèque Luxembourg.
 
This was a cooperation between the Cinémathèque and my employer, the Centre national de littérature. We showed three movies: stille tage in luxemburg, which was discussed very controversially when it was first shown on German TV in 1973, and two little known short films on Roger Manderscheid, by the German director Georg Bense. My colleague Pascal Seil had organized the evening. I read two texts - an excerpt from Manderscheid's book Dromedare and a letter in which Manderscheid reflects on the 'scandal' that his film produced. The evening, and especially the interview with director Georg Bense, was quite a success.
 

 
06.07.2012
 
RTL radio interview. "Freides Invité" [Friday's guest] with Christiane Kremer.
 
A thirty-minute interview on living in the States, getting a highschool diploma through evening classes and travels in the Balkans. We also spoke about the latest exhibition at my workplace and of course my new novel, Rights of Spring.
 

 
23.06.2012
 
Radio broadcast. "Visite guidée" [Guided tour] with Claude Mangen. Radio 100,7.
 
A guided audiotour through the exhibition "Satirische Literatur in Luxemburg" with explanations by curators Claude D. Conter, Sandra Schmit and Pascal Seil. Each of us guided through a different exhibition hall. My commentary (in Luxembourgish) is about Satire and the Church and starts 7:10 minutes into the broadcast. The whole tour takes about one hour.
 

 
23.05.2012
 
Vernissage of the exhibition Satirische Literatur in Luxemburg. Centre national de littérature, Mersch, Luxembourg.
 
On the opening night of Satirische Literatur in Luxemburg, our new director Claude D. Conter gave an introductory speech to the exhibition, while actor Steve Karier read excerpts from satirical texts. True to the subject of the evening, there was lots of laughing and good humour. Before proceeding to the wine and canapés, my fellow curators Claude D. Conter and Pascal Seil and I led the guests through the exhibtion halls.
 
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03.02.2012
 
Reading A Winter Tale. Classes 2e A and 2e D. Lycée Robert-Schuman. Luxembourg.
 
I read a few excerpts from A Winter Tale to the students and discussed my work as an author and in the literary archives with them. To round it off, they listened to the emigrants' song Zur Erënneronk and to the short story Reality Check. I enjoyed the morning very much. Thanks to Georges Kieffer for organizing it, Nicole Deviscour for taking such great pictures and Martine Richard for "lending" me her class. And a major thank you of course to the students for their interest.
 
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14.12.2011
 
Lecture on Marie-Louise Tidick-Ulveling's Im Zeichen der Flamme. Club Senior, Centre Barblé, Strassen, Luxembourg.
 
 

 
03.10.2011
 
Lecture on Marie-Louise Tidick-Ulveling's Im Zeichen der Flamme. Haus Am Becheler, Walferdange, Luxembourg.
 
Another wonderful evening at the Becheler. It's always a pleasure to be there. The lecture was essentially the same one that I gave a few months ago at the Centre national de littérature in Mersch.
 
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30.04.2011
 
Radio broadcast about Marie Louise Tidick-Ulveling's Im Zeichen der Flamme. Radio 100,7.
 
The broadcast about my second reedition in the Lëtzebuerger Bibliothéik series. Like the one two weeks earlier, it's in Luxembourgish and lasts about twenty-five minutes. Again, it's a condensed version of my lecture in March 2011. On my request, the radio station played Subway to Sally's Die Hexe, very fitting for a novel about 17th century witch hunts. Asche zu Asche might have been even more fitting, but I didn't think I could propose two Rammstein songs in a row. ;)
 

 
16.04.2011
 
Radio broadcast about Nicolas Gonner's Prairieblummen. Radio 100,7.
 
In 2010/2011, the cultural radio station 100,7 did a series of features about the publications of the Centre national de littérature where I work. The series was called Lëtzebuerger Bibliothéik. The two books I authored where number 15 and 16 in the series. Click on the link to listen to the broadcast in Luxembourgish. It lasts about twenty minutes and it's basically a shortened version of my lecture in November 2008.
 
The radio station asked me to propose a song to end the broadcast, and I suggested Amerika by Rammstein, as the song nicely counter-balances Gonner's sometimes over-enthusiastic view of his adopted country.
 

 
08.03.2011
 
Lecture on Marie-Louise Tidick-Ulveling's Im Zeichen der Flamme. Centre national de littérature, Mersch, Luxembourg.
 
At this event, I presented the newly-reedited novel Im Zeichen der Flamme, which is set in 17th century Luxembourg during the time of the witch hunts. Like all things gory of ages past, the subject delighted the audience. Judging from the echoes I received, the torture scene in particular was kept in fond memory.
 
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14.12.2010
 
Lecture on Nicolas Gonner's Prairieblummen. Literaturarchiv Saar-Lor-Lux-Elsass. Saarbrücken-Dudweiler. Germany.
 
Yet again the Prairieblummen lecture, but this time in German in front of a German audience. The challenges were a bit different, as one cannot simply assume that the Germans know the Luxembourgish towns and events that are referenced. This forced me to see the book in a slightly different light, so the evening was just as rewarding for myself as for the audience.
 
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20.11.2010
 
Reading session Reality Check at the Walfer Bicherdeeg. Walferdange, Luxembourg.
 
Several authors were asked to read their contribution to the Walfer Bicherdeeg anthology in public. My short story was about karaoke, so it gave me the opportunity to bawl out a line from a Europe song, shyly whisper a verse from Abba and pay hommage to Queen with a happy Friends will be Friends. Unfortunately, the reading session was not recorded, but you can read the short story if you click here. [in Luxembourgish]
 
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04.-06.08.2010
 
IVG Internationaler Germanistenkongress. Warsaw, Poland.
 
I presented a paper on Gonner's Prairieblummen (yet again) at the Luxembourgish section of this congress. This was the first congress I attended as a speaker, and I enjoyed the experience. Of course, I already knew a lot of the people from Luxembourg. It was my first time in Poland as well, and I must say, I'm glad they're working on their highways. Poland IS a large country. But it's beautiful, and Warsaw was well worth the trip. The contributions were later published, and you can read the article here.
 
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19.03.2010
 
Prairieblummen. Class 3e BC1. Lycée Robert-Schuman Luxembourg.
 
I presented the works of Gonner and Co at a local highschool. The students were especially interested in the topic of emigration.
 

 
03.03.2010
 
Not for ladies only. Brasserie Neimënster. Luxembourg.
 
Three authors published by ultimomondo were taking part in this reading session organised for the Tour de Lüx: Michèle Thoma, Tania Naskandy and myself. Naskandy, who later that year revealed herself to be none other than Guy Rewenig, was notably absent that evening and her texts were read by Pat Wengler (right).
 
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14.12.2009
 
Journée de la littérature luxembourgeoise. Lycée de garçons Luxembourg.
 
A local highschool invited several Luxembourgish authors to talk with the students about what it is like to be a writer. I enjoyed the two hours in "my" class very much. Click on the link above to find out more about this event. [in French, site hosted by the Lycée de garçons]
 
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05.11.2009
 
Reading session A Winter Tale. Elfenbein Literaturhandlung. Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg.
 
This was a very enjoyable evening at the Elfenbein book store in Prenzlauer Berg. The owner of the book store, Ingo Držečnik, had organized a "Luxembourgish evening" with author Guy Rewenig, jazz musician Jitz Jeitz and myself. The Germans seemed to like the literature and music from their next-door neighbours just as much as the culinary specialties offered by "De Maufel", a Luxembourgish delicatessen in Charlottenburg. Incidentally, this was the only reading session of the "Tour de Lüx" that took place outside of Luxembourg.
 
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29.10.2009
 
Reading session A Winter Tale. Kulturfabrik. Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg.
 
My first public reading of one of my literary works! I felt a lot more vulnerable reading my own work, instead of someone else's poetry or prose. The evening was part of the "Tour de Lüx", the tenth anniversary of the publishing house ultimomondo. There were five authors reading from their latest books (namely Guy Rewenig, Lucien Blau, Jean Back, Roger Manderscheid and myself) and an exhibition by satirical magazine Den neie Feierkrop's caricaturist Guy W. Stoos. The evening was recorded by film directors Tom Alesch and Anne Schiltz. Click on the video below to see and hear part of my reading.
 
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12.10.2009
 
Lecture on Nicolas Gonner's Prairieblummen. Haus Am Becheler, Walferdange, Luxembourg.
 
Here I had the opportunity to give my lecture on Gonner's Prairieblummen yet again in front of an interested audience.
 

 
14.05.2009
 
Reading session based on Nicolas Gonner's Prairieblummen. Club Senior, Centre Barblé, Strassen, Luxembourg.
 
This was part of an "American day" at the Club Senior in Strassen. I read excerpts from the Prairieblummen and gave some background information on the emigration of Luxembourgers to the US in the 19th century. To round the day off, we all had lunch at the local McDonald's and later visited the American Embassy.
 
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10.04.2009
 
Radio interview about A Winter Tale. Radio 100,7.
 
This was a very pleasant interview with Olivier Del Fabbro about my novel. It's in Luxembourgish and takes about 20 minutes. It was broadcast on the Luxembourgish cultural radio station 100,7 during Claude Mangen's show Rendezvous mam Buch. Click on the link above to listen to the show.
 

 
01.02.2009
 
Television interview on the dok Show with Maurice Molitor.
 
My first appearance on TV! The dok Show is a popular Luxembourgish talkshow in which the host, Maurice Molitor, interviews three or four guests, mostly people from the national cultural scene. We talked for about 15 minutes about my novel, A Winter Tale, and about the reedition of the poetry collection Prairieblummen.
 

 
25.11.2008
 
Lecture on Nicolas Gonner's Prairieblummen. Centre national de littérature, Mersch, Luxembourg.
 
My first ever lecture! I was nervous as hell to get up there and speak, but by the end of the evening, I had got the stage bug. Click on the link above to read the script and view the pictures of the slideshow. [in Luxembourgish]
 
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