Portrait Eliot Weinberger
© Ali Ghandtschi

Guest 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2017, 2018.


Frankfurt a. M., 2003
[Ü: Peter Torberg]
Das Wesentliche
Berlin, 2008
[Ü: Peter Torberg]
Orangen! Erdnüsse!
Berlin, 2011
[Ü: Peter Torberg]
The Wall, the City, and the World
Readux Books
Berlin, 2014
Berlin, 2017
[Ü: Beatrice Faßbender]

Eliot Weinberger [ USA ]

Eliot Weinberger was born in 1949 in New York City, where he still lives today. At 19 he published a volume of poems by the future Nobel laureate Octavio Paz that he had translated. Since 1970 he has translated numerous works from Spanish (by Octavio Paz, Jorge Luis Borges, Vicente Huidobro, among others) and Chinese (Bei Dao) into English. In 2000 he was the first US-American writer to be awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle by the government of Mexico. Weinberger has edited several anthologies of American and Chinese poetry and is the series editor of »Calligrams«, published by the Chinese University of Hong Kong Press and New York Review Books, and the literary editor of the »Murty Classical Library of India«.

Published in 1986, »Works on Paper« was the first of 16 essay volumes to date, which include »Karmic Traces« (2000), »An Elemental Thing« (2007) and, most recently, »The Ghosts of Birds« (2016) as well as collected political texts he wrote during the George W. Bush era. His prose poem »What I Heard about Iraq« (2005) became a critically acclaimed internet phenomenon and, with the support of the ilb, was performed at public readings around the world. Weinberger – the »New York Times« has named him »one of the world's greatest living essayists« – is a regular contributor to the »London Review of Books« and »Lettre International«, among other international publications. His writing has been translated into more than thirty languages. The »Multicultural Review« has said about Eliot Weinberger that »he has seemingly read, read about, or seen firsthand practically everything on planet Earth.« Indeed, there seem to be no limits to the themes the essayist takes on – ranging from the love life of naked mole rats, Icelandic sagas, and birds from New Zealand to the wind and the stars, and the dreams of people called Chang. In terms of form, he also makes use of the unlimited potential – as he sees it – of the genre. Thus many of his texts are closer to prose poems and stories than traditional essays, but are in no way fictitious. »I never make anything up,« Weinberger has stated, emphasizing the factual verifiability of every detail, no matter how fantastical it may seem. He has called »An Elemental Thing« a serial essay, which is to say, a series of loosely connected texts that can potentially be continued ad infinitum, as demonstrated in »Ghosts of Birds«, which continues a serial essay published in an earlier volume.

In all these poetic texts, Weinberger devotes himself to nothing less than several millennia of natural and human history. »Eliot Weinberger’s essays enchant the world and change our way of thinking. They are miracles.« (»Die Zeit«).