What is TLDR?
What is TLDR?
What is TLDR?
The Author
The Author
The Author
Reaching for Atlantis
Reaching for Atlantis
Reaching for Atlantis
Too long; didn't read (abbreviated TL;DR and tl;dr) is a shorthand notation inserted by an editor indicating that a passage appears too long to invest the time to digest it. Definition from wikipedia.org

This project – in two sentences

toolong-didntread.de is an online-platform at the crossroads of historic essay, travel writing, photography, and nature writing.

As an initiative between academic and creative writing, it explores various formats to tell stories of how human beings, across centuries and cultures, encountered the world around them.

Why invest time into our stories?

toolong-didntread.de is an ironic reply to an age of irony.

The streams of our mind lie scattered, as manifold and minute as the rivulets into which Petrarch’s legendary Persian king subdivided the Ganges when his army had to cross the mighty river.

Surreptitiously, the fragmented realities of our screens have taken over our perception of the world, luring us away from the one that actually surrounds us. And as we traverse the quicksands of mental and material consumption, we have begun to expect, even demand, summaries rather than taking the time to appreciate the panoramic view.

The river of Ráhpaäädno branching out at the Dielmá Ford. Sweden, Sarek National Park.Photograph by Bernhard Schirg.

toolong-didntread.de is a respite from the pace that lays siege to you. A place where you are welcome to tarry.

What you find here are real stories, personal and ripened. Stories that reflect our deepest needs and inner turmoil. Stories that lie inscribed on the world around us, ready to provide sustenance in times of rapid change.

Each day, children are born into this world, endowed with the gift of human curiosity. As it has done since the dawn of humanity, the mind weaves stories from the threads of our surroundings, the impressions that the world and its inhabitants leave on our senses and on our souls.

What stories will resonate in a world we are leaving less bountiful, less diverse? And where will we turn to nourish that essentially human trait of finding wonder and meaning in the world around us?

toolong-didntread.de is the attempt at a personal answer. At the same time, it is a bet on the longing of our readers to find rest and sustenance, to encounter stories that lend meaning to our experiences of the present and the knowledge of our past.

Welcome to toolong-didntread.de.

The river of Ráhpaäädno. Sweden, Sarek National Park.Photograph by Bernhard Schirg.

Further reading and references


toolong-didntread.de is a sum of encounters. I have to thank the people who shared their stories with me and encouraged me in the search of finding a way to tell them. Also, my thanks go to the Volkswagen Foundation for their trust and the freedom to plant the seed of this project as part of my Freigeist Fellowship.

For working with my texts I first have to thank Libby Rohovit, and all the other people who provided inspiration and support, read early drafts, and proved to be sparring partners on the way: Ovanes Akopyan, Lilli Artmann, William Barton, Timo Bonengel, Peter Davidson, Alex Franklin, Annika Goldenbaum, Martin Gronau, Robert Grunert, Paul Gwynne, Joanna Hecker, Sabine Jehner, Bastienne Karg, Amanada Lee, Tyrone Martinsson, Bernhard Meier, Martin Mulsow, Markus Neuschäfer, Tobias Reichard, Lena Reineke, Bernd Roling, Sophia Schwemmer, Bob Spenser, Iva Stiperski, Brett Watson.

Below the stories I write you can find books that shaped the paths of my thinking. Of those from which I gained inspiration for this text I would like to mention the following two:

  • Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World. On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (Princeton, 2015).
  • Roger Willemsen, Wer wir waren. Zukunftsrede (Frankfurt am Main, 2016). Audiobook on Spotify.

^ the rivulets into which Petrarch’s legendary Persian king subdivided the Ganges: See Francesco Petrarcha, My Secret Book, ed. and transl. Nicholas Mann (Cambridge, Mass. and London 2016), III.8.3.

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