I dream in English.
I daydream in French.
My nightmares are in German.

A Perpetrator Speaks

“Always remember, others may hate you,
but those who hate you don’t win
unless you hate them,
and then you destroy yourself.”
– Richard M. Nixon


I was not feeling particularly cheerful when I received a cylindrical box came from Hermagoras Verlag as registered mail. In the box was an elaborate diploma. On the document were the forged signatures of six deceased signatories and five different misspellings of the “award-winner’s” name on the diploma and the envelope. There was no award ceremony, no award announcement and no endowment.

And speaking of misspellings, this is what appeared on the proofs of Carinthian Slovenian Poetry: “Slovenial, Jogoslavia.”

Credit and Payment Unnecessary

I had published translations in Austria Today. When the editor became aware of my difficulties with the Foreign Ministry, he said, “I don’t look left and I don’t look right” and promptly had his assistant remove my name from a literary translation he had fought to obtain.

After his death a Harald Egger, new editor came in and, surprise of surprises, he accepted translations from my anthology of Burgenland Croatian poets, Hawks and Nightingales/Ptici i slavuj, edited by Peer Tyran, and an article about the poetry and langage situation of this minority group.

There were only two things missing, my name and a cheque . I wrote a letter to the editor requesting payment for my work, but no answer came. After a second letter, I received a call from Brigitte Trybus, the editor’s secretary. She told me in a high-pitched voice that the translations had not been solicited and would not be paid for. She added that they had been published as a favor to me, that I had been an unwelcome guest in the office and never to come there again. I informed her that I was taking notes and asked her whether she was speaking for herself or the editor. She replied that she was speaking for him. I then told her that I would like to have the statements in writing. She invited me to come to the office where she would repeat them and I could tape them. I reminded her that I had just been forbidden entry and added that I was awaiting a letter from the editor.

I waited for a week and then sent a protocol of the telephone conversation and the bill to the editor as well as to the journal’s four board members. I then received the editor’s written refusal to pay on the grounds that the material had either been unsolicited or extracts from books. Concerning his secretary’s call, he stated that he regretted her comments and “I certainly don’t know what could have made this woman, who is usually so calm and prudent , lose her composure.”

Of course, he had nothing to do with her outburst.