Happy Birthday, Herta Müller, born 17 August 1953
- I have packed myself into silence so deeply and for so long that I can never unpack myself using words. When I speak, I only pack myself a little differently.
- Whatever I read went under my skin, I almost devoured the literature, which became like a road to discovery. And this is how it stayed. I always wanted to know, how should one live? I write in order to bear witness to life.
- I have it [this awful name Herta] because one of my mother’s friends in the camp was named Herta, and she died. My mother had promised that if she had a daughter, she would name the child after her friend.
- I lived through 50 or more interrogations, but I wouldn’t be satisfied with directly transposing events. Working with language requires beauty for me. I doubt you could do that in the same way in a memoir.
- I believe that every person is a unique individual in the world and has a unique relationship with that world. Each and every person.
- I have met so many sensitive people in all walks of life, doing all sorts of jobs, and I have never thought that I am capable of seeing something which these people who do not write cannot. Language, if it is capable of expressing life, is the language of those who do not write, and I have to use their language. If I write their language in a certain way, then I produce what we call literature, poetry, poetic atmosphere.
- Nowhere else in eastern Europe did people have to take their typewriter to the police, every year, and request a permit to use it.
Müller is a German-Romanian novelist, poet, essayist and recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages
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