A Meeting of Cultures

On November 11th, NMSTU students met with an Austrian author, translator and winner of literature awards Erwin Einzinger from Vienna. The meeting, which was held in the NMSTU Austrian Reading Room, is a part of the cooperation deal between the University, the Embassy of Austria and the Austrian OeAD.

This visit marked the third time when the NMSTU Department of Romano-Germanic Philology and Translation welcomed Austrian guests. The entire meeting was in German, so it was only natural that quite a few students of German were among the participants.

The meeting was opened by Andreas Kurz, an OeAD lecturer, who introduced the Austrian guest to the audience. In the past Erwin Einzinger worked as a gymnasium teacher of English and German for 25 years. He started to write when he was a student. His poems were published soon after they were completed, and he saw his first book published quite early. Today, Erwin devotes all his time to writing and travelling. Spain, Japan, China, Ukraine… This visit has added Russia to his ever growing list.

“I had one close friend who used to teach the Russian language and culture at Saint Petersburg University. He was in love with this country and he would always say I should go visit Russia. Here I am! And I’ve got some fantastic impressions. I was really astonished at the vastness of this country, which I was fortunate to experience when I was travelling from Yekaterinburg to Magnitogorsk. This is something we will never be able to grasp,” said Erwin.

The book “Ein kirgisischer Western” (“The Kyrgyz Western”) presented by the author tells a story of one traveler who sets off for the East and gets lost on the way. Fragmentary style and collage are the features that differentiate Erwin’s writing and attract readers. Erwin is well familiar with the Russian classical literature. He confessed he was very eager to read the works by Tolstoy, Chekhov, Gogol, Nabokov.

In his final speech Erwin gave a piece of advice to the students of German: “Try to nurture your love of literature and never stop improving your language. First of all, you should appreciate your own language as your native tongue is your greatest treasure. It is a miracle when you can express your ideas, feelings, impressions. Not everybody has this talent. I wish you all the good things in life and thank you for your attention.”

The members of the host department are confident many more exciting events will follow as a result of the above mentioned cooperation deal.

Svetlana Artemova,
Information Policy Office, NMSTU

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