Mordor kommt und frisst uns auf

Ziemowit Szczerek | Thomas Weiler

“Ich hielt vor dem Lebensmittelladen. Wie immer, wie überall auf dieser Welt, hockten davor ein paar Jungs, die nichts mit sich anzufangen wussten und notdürftig die Zeit totschlugen. ‘Schau dir das an Taras’, sagte ich, ‘das Slawische. Siehst du? Es existiert.’”

Mordor kommt und frisst uns auf

Mordor kommt und frisst uns auf

Jury comments

The Polish journalist Ziemowit Szczerek tells about journeys to Ukraine and the search for the “Slavic soul,” its distinctive trait. Using gruff language, he mockingly and sarcastically sketches the post-Soviet east off-handedly or with punk allures. This original literary voice, aptly and both ecstatically and revealingly translated by Thomas Weiler, reveals a complex, little-known region of Europe. It speaks of traditions and identities in a disrespectful new language. — Jens Bisky

Ziemowit Szczerek | Photo: Sebastian Frąckiewicz

Ziemowit Szczerek | Photo: Sebastian Frąckiewicz

Author: Ziemowit Szczerek

Ziemowit Szczerek, born in 1978, is a belligerent intellectual, writer and journalist. He publishes in the magazine Nowa Europa Wschodnia (New Eastern Europe) and the weekly newspaper Tygodnik Powszechny. Szczerek is fascinated by the east of Europe, by Gonzo-journalism and geopolitical, historical and cultural curiosities, as he says. He was awarded the Polish Literary Prize Paszport by the weekly magazine Polityka and nominated for the Nike Prize, Poland’s most important literary award, for Przyjdzie Mordor i nas zje, czyli Tajna historia Słowian.

Most recent publications:

  • Międzymorze. Podróże przez prawdziwą i wyobrażoną Europę Środkową [Intermarium. Reisen durch das wahre und das vorgestellte Mitteleuropa]. Wołowiec: Czarne 2017
  • Tatuaż z tryzubem [Tätowierung mit Dreizack]. Wołowiec: Czarne 2015
  • Siódemka [Die Sieben]. Kraków: Korporacja Ha!art 2014

Thomas Weiler | Photo: Sasha Gubskaya

Thomas Weiler | Photo: Sasha Gubskaya

Translator: Thomas Weiler

Thomas Weiler, born in the Black Forest in 1978, completed translation studies for Russian and Polish after doing his social peace service in Minsk. Since 2007, he has been working as a freelance translator and is particularly active in conveying Belarus literature. In addition, Weiler translates poems for the Internet portal Lyrikline.org, for anthologies and periodicals such as Sinn und Form, Literatur und Kritik and Akzente.
Together with two colleagues, he organizes the program of the translator center at the Leipzig Book Fair. He lives with his wife and three children in Markkleeberg, south of Leipzig.

Most recent publications:

  • Ziemowit Szczerek: Mordor kommt und frisst uns auf, Voland & Quist 2017 [Przyjdzie Mordor i nas zje, Krakow 2013]
  • Alexandra Litwina; Anna Desnizkaja (lll.): In einem alten Haus in Moskau (in collaboration with Lorenz Hoffmann), Gerstenberg 2017 [История старой квартиры Moscow 2016]
  • Piotr Karski: Berge, Moritz 2017 [W góry! Warsaw 2016]
  • Piotr Socha: Bienen, Gerstenberg 2016 [Pszczoły, Warsaw 2015]
  • Marcin Szczygielski: Hinter der blauen Tür, FISCHER Sauerländer 2016 [Za niebieskimi drzwiami, Warsaw 2010]
  • Aleksandra Mizielińska, Daniel Mizieliński: Unter der Erde · Tief im Wasser, Moritz 2016 [Pod ziemią · pod wodą, Warsaw 2015]
  • Viktor Martinowitsch: Mova 墨瓦, Voland & Quist 2016 [Мова 墨瓦, Minsk 2014]