Birger Sellin

Birger Sellin wrote ich will kein inmich mehr sein when he was a teenager in Berlin living with his parents in the early 1990′s.

The book is in the form of journal entries and it chronicles his attempts to connect his inner life with the world at large. Sellin’s initial attempts at writing were very minimal – just a listing of letters and the names of his family members. The activity took a lot of mental effort for him and was a significant change to how he viewed his capabilities and place in the world. Gradually he built up his control, mental stamina and typing proficiency until he was able to compose very original and direct prose containing lucid analyses of his situation and strategies for overcoming his isolation.

The book gives insight into many aspects of Sellin’s condition which are common to the autistic experience: the confusion of sensory information, the sensitivity to certain sounds he heard and surfaces he touched, and his inability to communicate verbally what he was thinking. For the radio version of ich will kein inmich mehr sein, Copeland had selected journal entries and varied some of their sequence in time in order to focus on specific subject areas, but at the same time, Copeland maintained the general progression of development and growth in Sellin’s writing.  This same text along with the sound design provides the production of an essential other person with its structural framework and soundtrack.

The German edition  is published by Kiepenheuer Witsch, Köln
(ISBN-Nr. 3-462-02463-9)

The English translation by Anthea Bell is published by Basic Books (ISBN-10: 0465031722 or ISBN-13: 978-0465031726).


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