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[ book tip by Literatur Schweiz ] Nowadays, the high art of love poetry consists in escaping from great examples, yet without ignoring them. There is a fine margin in-between, but it exists, as Nora Gomringer has demonstrated in her most recent poetry volume. Out of this field of emotional and poetic tension, she repeatedly finds surprising words and phraseology for well-known feelings. In “My Husband for a Night”, for example, she celebrates in quick-fire words the fiery night of passion which was inconsequential. And there was no answer to the countless SMS messages, but instead “unerwartet poetisch im Abgang: / inniglich tippt sich honiglich mit / Worterkennung –” (“unexpectedly poetic in decline: / intimate words overtyped with „honey‟ / predictive texting–”)
In this work, love shares an affinity with travel. In her dedication, the author hints at her frequent trips – in all directions. The “Nachrichten aus der Luft” (“News from the Air”) relate to this – namely, the air circulating with and in these poems. The longest piece was composed in 2008 in Novosibirsk about “Dinge ohne Ereignis” (“Things
without happening”) and ultimately ends on a question mark. “Buchstabier-staunend” (“Spelling-in-awe”), the poetical „I‟ traverses through the Cyrillic script “die mir meine Konzentration abverlangt” (“which robs me of my concentration”), thus offering linguistic resistance. And as a certain Victor recounts, this is despite the fact that the Russian language is “durch und durch verletzt” (“wounded through and through”). Here, Nora Gomringer pulls out all the stops: prosaic descriptions alternate with rapid lists and precise street observations. If necessary, she does not avoid the old chestnuts such as in the poem “Kapitulation : Kapiert”: “Als nichts mehr ging / Ging ich.” (“Capitulation: Capice”: “When nothing else helped / I left.”
The author has a passion for antagonism and for anything that does not go with pigeonholing. To highlight this, she draws on all manner of typographical techniques. The individual poems are printed higgledy-piggledy in different scripts across the pages. Nora Gomringer generally strives for non-conformism and resistance in her poetry. Writers are multiplying – unhindered, as stated in the poem “Fressfeinde der Autoren” (“Predators of Authors”). This is at odds with the usual approach to reading, so in this case “wünsche ich mir / Einen Fressfeind statt einer weichen Nische / In der Existenz.” (“I wish for / a predator, instead of a comfortable niche / in existence.” The book is supplied with an audio CD playing back the author‟s precise diction lending her poems their additional emphasis. This is a risky step, as authors‟ readings often tend to be devalued. But Nora Gomringer is a spellbinding interpreter of her own poetry.
[ Favourite quote ] «Despite everything, this is a love poem
because nothing in me
wanted any of this».
[ book info ] Gomringer, Nora: Nachrichten aus der Luft.
(News from the Air).
(Book language: Deutsch)
Voland & Quist,
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