Young Swiss author Arno Camenisch writes in both Rhaeto-Romanic and German. He will read excerpts from his novel The Alps in his mother-tongues, German and Rhaeto-Romanic, and discuss the content and his writing with the audience.*
*The read passages will be interactively translated into English. The discussion will take place in English.
Following a slew of unnamed characters in a small village along the Alps, we find that their existence is marked by dangerous work, small dramas, solitude, and alcoholism. The author’s handling of these situations and lives is characterized at all times by affection, surreal humor, and a brilliant ear for the sounds of the setting.
The Alp, the first book in Camenisch’s Sez Ner trilogy, was published in April 2014 by Dalkey Archive Press. The upcoming two—Behind the Station and Last Last Orders—will be published by Dalkey Archive in April 2015.
Switzerland’s 4th language
Rhaeto-Romanic is the 4th official language of Switzerland and spoken by only 2 % of the Swiss population living in the South-Eastern part of Switzerland (Graubünden-Grison). It is a rare opportunity to listen and learn more about this Latin almost forgotten language. This special event will be interesting for academics and students in both Germanic and Romance Languages, Comparative Literature, Linguists as well as for a broad public with an interest in Swiss literature.
When asked why he admires Camenisch’s work, Dalkey Archive editor, West Camel said,
“’Voice’ has never been more apt to describe a writer’s work. Arno’s also a terrific reader: anyone who listens will be sure to be won over.”
“With The Alp, a loose sequence of scenes from everyday life on Alp Stavonas at the foot of Piz Sezner, Arno Camenisch has written perhaps the most unusual book of the season. It is certainly one of the freshest.” —Angelika Overath, NZZ
“Camenisch writes unique and wonderful prose that finds its own rhythm and its own poetry.” —Die Berliner Literaturkritik
“The sound of the words and of the sentences is highly musical. Camenisch shows himself to be an accomplished rhythmist, a poet in his prose.” —Bündner Tagblatt
6.00 – 6.30 pm
Arrival of guests and registration
6.30 – 6.45 pm
Words of welcome by Andreas Rufer, swissnex Boston
Introductory remarks by the moderator, Nicole A. Suetterlin, Assistant Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
6.45 – 7.30 pm
Reading by Arno Camenisch / Translation by Denzil Mohammed, followed by moderated Q & A session
7.30 – 8.30 pm
Book signing and networking reception
This event is free and open to the public, registration recommended.