The Co-Editor Bites the Dust

He writes extensively about the perpetrators in the days of yore. He’s good on details concerning the barbarism of the past. If you’re a poet who writes on the subject, he’s the one to go to since he edits a poetry series. He had a co-editor, who belonged to an older generation. His former colleague, a refined and cultivated older poet, did not have a particularly sanguine life. As a young man, he was inducted and spent six years of his youth wearing a uniform he hated. He was one of those who had to go while Waldheim and others fulfilled their martial duty in the Wehrmacht, which by no means could have been considered the defence force of Austria.

When the older colleague supported the publication of volumes of poetry by two émigrés who had experienced the Third Reich and its repercussions first-hand, he was shouted down and forced to pack it in by his younger colleague. And that was that! This of course is an isolated incident and is atypical. Self-styled anti-fascists and philo-Semites in Austria are invariably ready to lend a helping hand to those who were victimized by the Reich.
Players: Manfred Chobot, Franz Richter.
(Authors: Herbert Kuhner, Wolfgang Fischer, PEN President)


“It was unwise of you to review Kuhner’s book.”
– Bodo Hell, author to Lev Detela,  who had reviewed Broadsides & Pratfalls for Ex Libris, ORF (Austrian Radio)

“Why did you tell him?”
– Bodo H.

(Hell came to my apartment unannounced with manuscripts. I published him in every issue of Integration, a literary journal that I edited in the early Seventies.)

At that time Tomaž Šalamun in Slovenia wrote Detela  that he should avoid contact with me  since I am “a barbarian and a CIA-agent.”  That rumor made the rounds for years.

(Years later, when I asked Šalamun, he said that the “information” came from Austria and the name of the source  was on the tip of his tongue.)