Stick Insect 2003 (short story)

A short story English/​German 2000-April 2003 (unpub­lished), after Das Mädchen mit der Eidechse” (The Girl with the Lizard) from Liebesfluchten”(Flights of Love) by Bern­hard Schlink.

German trans­la­tion Stech­mücke Tanya Ury & Rolf Steiner
Both versions published on the Bet Debora confer­ence Website (2003), December 2006

As a slide reading with 31 slides of Karl Schmidt-Rottluff’s art

In several of her works Tanya Ury has adopted the name of Hermè or Herme (her & me):

Hermeneu­rotic — a collec­tion of works:

A conver­sa­tion with a doctor during an acupunc­ture treat­ment reveals more than the patient wishes to hear; the chron­icle that is told in Stech­mücke puts certain accepted art-histor­ical facts into question.


Although largely auto­bi­o­graph­ical, this narra­tive is told in the 3rd person; Tanya Ury adopts the name of Hermè (her & me), thereby objec­ti­fying a personal history and lending it the flavour of the antique. Hermè’s fables are earnest, thought-provoking but some­times also, playful. In her written works, the author blurs the line between auto­bi­o­graph­ical and fictional reality. The ques­tion of her iden­tity however, is always central.

Speaking in German Hermè politely enquired after his accent. Hannes gently took her hand (his was warm and dry), told her to lie still and that yes, he had been German, but that that had all been a long time ago. He and his family had lived in many places since, before finally moving to Totnes. He related how his grandson had been seri­ously ill, that he and his wife had tended the child and still looked after him. Before that, Detta had been in films; she had designed the costumes for Anne of a Thou­sand Days”. This he recounted with a hint of pride. They had also been in America. Over a period of years, Detta had frequently visited a Hopi Indian reser­va­tion and had been permitted to observe the secret customs of the people. But in the end it was the English coun­try­side that claimed them. The pretty village of Totnes that lay in the gentle, rolling, South Western land­scape, seemed to attract alter­na­tive healers, like a buddleia shrub draws butter­flies to it.”

Extract from Stick Insect

Tanya Ury


2000 (22. – 24.9.) Work in progress, 68elf Galerie, Inter­na­tionale Photo­szene, Cologne (D)

2005 (31.1.) Monday prac­tice, slide reading, b_​books, Lübbener Strasse, Berlin (D)

2006 Bet Debora Internet Maga­zine (D)

2006 (25.3.) Trav­el­cook­book, slide reading of short stories with menu, Propeller, Friedrichshain, Berlin (D)

2006 (12) English and German versions, Bet Debora confer­ence 2003 web site:


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