Moritz Neumüller - Deutsch sein Kunstsprache

German is art-language.
The (un)translatable of Ernst Jandls poetry

Havana, Cuba. The home of Francisco Diaz. Francisco is a translator who has become an Ernst Jandl specialist. He began his career, however, as mandated translator for the Cuban government. With a travel grant Francisco arrives in Vienna. Here he is received by freezing temperatures. Bundled in jackets and with a red nose thus begins his Jandl research on location. Francisco got to know Ernst Jandl several years ago and during a short conversation with him proposed translating his poems into Spanish. Jandl liked the idea but his sudden death closed the first chapter of their author-translator- relationship. In his second visit, Francisco turns to friends and associates who could help him get to know the ingenious Jandl and his world.

The film shows that with wit and insistence, it is sometimes possible to do the impossible, such as making poetry popular to thousands of listeners (as has Jandl), translating untranslateable poems (as does Francisco Diaz), or to talk about all this in an audio-visual language, which is inspired but Jandl’s poems, but not limited by them (which I tried).

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