To expose oneself to the foreign. Dare to become the stranger and the stranger. And thus to become a stranger to oneself. Risking never becoming oneself again. Risking this requires not only commitment - it also requires admitting to oneself the eternally unsuccessful attempt to preserve the form of a life, and to undertake a courageous leap out of one's own body into the all-encompassing work. A leap, as the Danish writer Claus Beck-Nielsen did when he left home, wife and child, lived without documents on the streets of Copenhagen, became a "nameless test subject" of the Beckwerk agency, buried himself and finally rose again as Madame Nielsen. But whether this was, is or will be an end point? "I am not Madame Nielsen," she promptly prefaces her Zurich poetry lecture, demonstrating that everything is always at stake in an existence that is continuously in the process of becoming: if one jumps out of oneself, out of one's being, a completely new, never-before-heard sentence must always come into the world, and with it and in it a new, different world in all its potentiality and world- and existence-encompassing poetics.
English sample translation available
Madame Nielsen, born in 1963, is an author, singer, artist, performer. Her novels have won numerous awards, and she has been nominated several times for the Nordic Council Prize. Performances in Berlin and Vienna, among others. In 2020 she gave the Zurich Poetics Lecture.