a publisher for other points of view

FOCUS - April 2013

Salomé Voegelin

A Q&A with one of the contributors to What Matters Now? (What Can't You Hear?).

Daniela Cascella:
Your contribution to the Noch anthology is quite different from the writing in your book, Listening to Noise and Silence and in your blog, Soundwords. How does this piece exist within your broader writing? Is it part of a yet-uncovered strand in your work?

Salomé Voegelin:
I privately write a series of texts called 'short-short stories' to produce another kind of writing, a loosening up of words away from philosophical and critical expectations. They give me a space where I can just invent things without the need for context or truth, but which inevitably get filled with metaphors and narratives that are at times much darker and more serious than my other writing.

Reading a quickfire text such as this, the quote by Theodor W. Adorno at the beginning takes on the function of a trigger. What is the relationship between that sentence by Adorno and the rest of the text?

Adorno's book The Stars Down to Earth is, like his Minima Moralia, extremely personal and yet so relevant and insightful about a period in history that had such enormous and devastating consequences. I see both those books as Adorno's 'fictions', in the sense that they are not imaginary but build compelling stories that work personal observations into a fervent social critique and develop prophetic narratives.
His quote met my story later and gave it some ground.

The text appears to be generated from within a domestic situation that quickly collapses into a visionary scenario. I'm intrigued by the switch between above and below, not only on the literal level. Could you say something about the dynamics between 'Listening to the Stars' and 'the noises from down below'?

'Listening to the Stars' in Adorno's sense is about the cultish 'religion' of astrology, its focus on self-fulfilment, individualism and personal happiness rather than on what really goes on in society: 'the noises from down below'. The invitation of my text is away from the stars into listening: to hear the complex and reciprocal reality of social dynamics instead.