Frankfurter Anthologie: Günter Kunert: The traveller looks back

The poem is in Günter Kunerts last poetry book "a guest in the maze". It is unadorned and simple, a Swan song. It says little, this Few and Final, but with tr

Frankfurter Anthologie: Günter Kunert: The traveller looks back

The poem is in Günter Kunerts last poetry book "a guest in the maze". It is unadorned and simple, a Swan song. It says little, this Few and Final, but with tremendous scarcity. The old Baroque metaphor of life as a journey is multi-varied, uncounted the miles, endless roads. The paths, wrong turns, great futility. The death stands in front of the door, the ninety-year-old Kunert looks him in the eye.

And he's doing a whole book long. The tone of the poem can be explained from the many other prosaic short poems of the tape, to read in their breath it is. About so – mercilessly, with doctor Benn: "Every man / locked in a vault of his memories / meat cases / in cells, they decompose / custom according to." Or, with Heine put it: "The world has become a stranger for me, / child of a past town, a guest in the German North, / of history."

in 1929 in the "last city" of Berlin-born, Günter Kunert was adopted in 1979 from the GDR, after he heard the 1976 to the defenders of his friend Wolf Biermann, and it was tainted with the SED final. After many trips through England, Italy and the United States, which gave him the in the GDR sorely missing fresh air, he settled with his wife in a small village in Schleswig-Holstein, and lived there as a humorous and gifted skeptic, as an outsider, he had been in East Berlin, writing, drawing, reflective, always aware that he is not going to change the world. In contrast to his much-aufmüpfigeren spirit brother, Wolf Biermann, who brought some of his concerts, unimaginable today, at the end of the seventies, the left scene of the Federal Republic of Germany to the quake and out of the living room in the DDR is quite effective had been.

A will o ' the wisp over a stubble field

Kunert gave life more subtle, and distant, a "Pessimystiker", as Biermann, who saw himself as a "Optimystiker". Apparently fraternal twins. Both from Jewish families that had lost close relatives in concentration camps. The travelers mentioned "the lonely paths, the deny the imprint of the soles", may also have their origins here. The detours, the Kunert suggests in the poem, lead the graphic studies in Berlin-Weißensee and the conveyor Johannes R. Becher in the literary scene of the GDR, in the Opposition, and later as a friend and Holocaust Survivor Jean Améry, to the disappointment of the real socialism and real capitalism. To memoirs, the "adults playing", so Kunerts titles that make people small.

Günter Kunerts most famous story is "Central station": A "Someone" is asked to be present for his execution on that station, in the men's room. Straight out of Kafka, but as a parody of the GDR bureaucracy. At the end of the smoke above the buildings, like in Auschwitz. Or is it the pollution? Although Kunert life has resulted in a close and familiar relationship with death, a "entheimateter man", as he called himself, surprised, but the sadness in these last poems, the concealment more than to inform. Because Kunert was an entertaining figure with Berlin's mother wit, and an ironic resistance against looks perfect for my needs conditions. With the new Berlin, the Protzarchitektur, the Celebration and self-representation, the culture of young people, he could not do much. He remained on the outskirts, in the country in Kaisborstel, and wrote poems about the "southwest wind" and the "will o' the wisp over a stubble field".

Updated Date: 28 June 2020, 06:20

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