Translated by Adam Cullen 


Stories of a Hundred Nations


 A fairy tale about waiting.

A fairy tale about warm light.

A fairy tale about the hundred faces of solitude.

A fairy tale about morning sunshine, afternoon sunshine, and evening sunshine.

A fairy tale about misery and poverty.

A reflective fairy tale about your life.

A fairy tale about forlorn playgrounds.

A very long fairy tale about jealousy.

A fairy tale castrated for children.

A fairy tale about how love never came.

A newer kind of fairy tale about soft values.

A fairy tale about war, powerlessness, and anger. About someone incapable of understanding the world.

A fairy tale you’d prefer not to hear, because it tells you things that you do actually know about yourself but aren’t ready to admit.

A fairy tale about hard times in which very, very many people become braver than they were during easier times due to the way things are. What choice do they have?

A fairy tale about pointless deaths.

A fairy tale about the just rage of an honest and pure nation.

The second fairy tale of thermodynamics.

A passionate fairy tale about how if you don’t love me, I’ll kill you.

A fairy tale about a lie. Your pants are on fire and crossing your lips together with the smoke are the words: look, I wouldn’t really interpret it like that…

A fairy tale about fears.

The fairy tale of black holes.

A fairy tale about how everyone wants everybody to like them and everything is more or less fine and dandy at first, but then, things still get out of hand, unfortunately. You don’t want to know how it all ends.

A simple fairy tale about brilliance.

An endless fairy tale about a wanderer’s path. “How wonderful!” the listeners gush. “Too bad that tomorrow’s a work day, though.”

A fairy tale about truth and meaning. It turns out that both really do exist.

An everyday fairy tale about selfish helpfulness. No, sure, some people really are good people. Simply because they’re good and that’s it. With no ulterior motives.

An undeniably bizarre fairy tale. It’s absolutely incomprehensible, but even so, everyone can tell there’s something very special about it. And what an effect it has!

A melancholic fairy tale about how if you don’t love me, I’ll kill myself.

A fairy tale about how midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, and about what came next.

An irresistible tale about temptations. Oh, you could listen to it forever!

A fairy tale about a writer’s silence.

A boring and repugnant fairy tale. But, since lots of people like it, fine—as the audience pleases.

A fairy tale with a happy ending about how we’re all doing ridiculously well and an idiot just can’t seem to understand it. Hope is the last to die.

A fairy tale about endless exhaustion.

A fairy tale about the spring of eternal life. Don’t go drinking from it, otherwise you won’t get out of here!

A light fairy tale that starts trilling in your head when you feel like this: it’s summer, the sun is shining, and you’re a child. You’re in a good mood. No, not just good, but very, very good. Maybe it’s because you know your friend is waiting for you and you’re going to meet up in just a few minutes. You’re walking down a gravel road. Though, in fact, you’re not walking, but more like flying. You don’t know why you started skipping the way you did, but it feels incredibly wonderful and light. And the lightness that rests somewhere between your steps tells you: every breath is a treasure.

A fairy tale about puffing a peace pipe around the flickering flame of the last oil well.

A fairy tale about late-night swimming in a glasslike sea. August.

A real fairy tale.

The fairy tale of fairy tales.

A fairy tale about serving.

A fairy tale about disavowal.

A fairy tale about enlightenment.

A fairy tale.