beethovenfries    Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze has drawn your attention. It looks like a huge comic-strip mural to you. You’ve always thought there are many different stories hidden behind this painting. And because of that, in this number which is packed
full of monsters, we’ve asked a group of writers to bring those hidden stories out into the open.
I too have had flatmates with Klimt’s “Kiss” hung up to decorate their rooms, and, I can tell you, you shouldn’t trust those people. I don’t find Klimt easy: his work is full of soppy peacefulness, dumb happiness, as if this were a golden world full of flowers in which men and women loved each other. I don’t trust people
who can’t see Hiroshima behind Klimt’s “Kiss”, people who can’t see that can’t see their own Hiroshima. It makes me nervous that anyone should see that time-bomb as something romantic. It makes me nervous to see that picture in anybody’s
house, it tends to break any relationship I might have with the owner. Klimt makes me nervous, like most Austrians: I can only relax and enjoy myself when they bring out the monster they have inside them. That’s why Klimt’s “Beethoven Frieze” calms me down more that any other so-called beauty-seeking perversion.

Eider Rodriguez


The smell of fish, an old dressing-gown, more gaps in your teeth than teeth, an almost incomprehensible nasal voice. The mad
neighbourhood grandmother, the terror from upstairs, a three-word savage woman. Do you remember that? “Child! Where are you going?” she used to shout, and I’d say “Out!” in a fright.

I now regret never having been grateful for that fear.

There’s no more violent peacefulness than knowing that a monster lives on the floor above you. It’s frightening; we aren’t. If it’s evil, we’re free, saved, well-behaved, very well-behaved. It’s up there, sinful. We’re down here, all cosy, amen. I’m not normal without you, Basili. What is normal, if it’s not you. As I’m normal you’d eat me if you caught me on the stairs of any house around the world. You live off everything: off children in my house and off Klimt’s children. You showed him, I’m sure, how to build the wall of monstrosity between hardened, dirty-cunted witches and clean young ladies.

Has he ever thanked you?

I haven’t, and I regret that.

Please forgive me, Basili, with that dirty, rotten heart of yours and eat me up with that drunken tooth of yours.

Irati Jimenez

A small impossibility

When I was seven my dad took down the Dragon Ball poster I had in my bedroom and replaced it with a Gustav Klimt painting. All the powers which threaten men were in Tifon the Monster’s lap: illness, madness, death, lechery. They all looked like women. “They mustn’t catch you, my boy” my dad said.

When I opened my eyes the first thing I saw was the monster’s face. Even when I closed my eyes I kept on seeing the face. When I turned on the tv and saw the monster I couldn’t stop myself from screaming. There the monster was, Gae was Tartaro’s son, advertising an English course: “Hi, I’m Muzzy” he said, but I knew it was Tifon, he was after me, he wasn’t going to leave me alone.

As the years went by I stopped panicking. If I couldn’t confront the powers threatening man, I could avoid them. Illness, madness, death, lechery. Whenever they came up to me with their women’s appearance I side-stepped them. But whenever I study English, I can’t help it: panic stops me in my tracks.

Katixa Agirre

If this is a dream

…if it isn’t a dream then I’ll have to admit to happiness and today I feel I’m in a cloud of dreams. Klimt is drawing a stilln life and I’ve told him that the outgoing waves have to be painted green (!!). So I’ve told you that this is a dream and that King Kong has taken San Mames’es arch up in his hand. When I looked, San Mames’es arch was an ice-cream, a lemon-flavoured one. Mum’s appeared, along with our old aunt and the youngest sister I don’t have, and they’re all dancing around Klimt because they want to be the main characters in his “Kiss”. And I’ve told Gustav and I keep telling him no, the sky’s red, and rain only falls when it splits open the kitchen pipes. I’m playing the violin, a symphony or something: but when I realise, what my hands are doing has nothing to do with a violin. I’m not afraid and, with all his evil looks, King
Kong only makes me sorry for him. Gustav has stopped drawing Hondarraitz and has looked at me, “Elsa, mien liebling, King Kong’s skin looks like yours”. Furious, I wake up with three words in my mouth: Gustav, you bastard!

Goizalde Landabaso


- ... And Mamarrua is coming to get you!
- And what’s Mamarrua like?
- Very big, very black, covered in hair ...
- And what does Mamarrua do?
- He’ll bite you, and eat you up, and you’ll never be able to get out of his inside.

And I stayed there waiting for that black, endless hole to swallow me up, thinking there was no better place to be.

And I’m still waiting.

Xabier Mendiguren Elizegi