The works of the Japanese writer Yoko Tawada, who lives in Germany and writes in both German and Japanese, demand the suspension of common concepts of reading, understanding, and thinking. Her translingual writing is based on a playful and, at the same time, critical handling of language and various processes of translation: from one language into another, from thoughts into text or sounds, from sounds into text and vice versa. In many of her texts, the linguistic material is taken apart, alienated, and recomposed, in order to achieve new modes of expression, and raise its poetic potential. This book shows the challenges posed by this approach by documenting new translations and essays which originate from her time as DAAD Writer in Residence at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, and an exhibition at the Taylor Institution Library.
The introduction is provided by Christoph Held who invited her, with a preface by Emma Huber on exhibitions in the Taylorian. Included are new translations of her texts (from German by Rey Conquer and Chiara Giovanni and from Japanese by Lucy Fleming-Brown) with a discussion of her translation techniques (by Alexandra Lloyd); this is contextualised by an essay based on an exhibition curated by Sheela Mahedevan under the supervision of Henrike L hnemann. The ambition of this collection of creative work and essays is to showcase a transdisciplinary focus that does justice to the transcultural and multilingual nature of Yoko Tawada's works.