Thursday, October 01, 2009

Wädenswil Feuilleton

There, written in a steady hand, he read the following:

In me its made very plain
That parables are told in vain
To those who have but little brain

He found many such things, handwritten notes and reminders, strange offhand exegeses and spiral-bound memos, three or four to a leaf, in which were written recipes and cures for Ryes whooping and Jick’s palsy. In a fine Sütterlin hand he read a Wädenswil feuilleton written by a simpleton who lived in the Overnight Asylum.

‘good God’ he said, his voice trailing off in a lisp. ‘a feuilleton in Wädenswil Sütterlin… what will they think of next?’ And such his afternoon began, under strain of illusions and badly composed exegeses. If not for the sun’s blistering rays, enough to send a less clematis man to his grave, he’d have surely run for cover, his tail quashed like a plucked flower between his legs.

Gabriel, legs and arms akimbo, stood staring at the statue of Gbel, the hero of the great Sachsen-Anhalt War. Behind him, just a smidgen, Mérida the gastromancer moved his lips. Salvador Bahia of the Yucatan yelled berating Vialonga the slowpoke, Gabriel, Mérida and Salvador Bahia having just arrived from a circus engagement in Lisboa Valencia. ‘good Lord’ he said, his voice trailing off. ‘what more can they expect from a poor sod like me?’

The man is definitly insane. He pulld tha dug by it's hindlegs an dragged it .... If I were by chance to meet up with Robert Walser, in a sanatorium or ...... Who would have known? Such a scalawag, a brute, a mountebank. Men like he are best left to their own squally. That afternoon, under a broiling hot midday sun, he prepared his person for further adventuring, leaving behind all thoughts of reparation and glad tidings, as these, pittances at best, have no place in a common man’s retinue.

‘Oh mein Gott, die Welt ist wie ein kalter einsamen Ort, oh my’ he said, ‘mein Gott ist wie Welt’. On the backside was written, gleefully:

Bei Singen und Sagen
Nach Muehen und Plagen
Thut jeder sich laben
An Gottes herrlichen Gaben![2]

‘Oh mein Gott, die Welt ist wie’ he said again, his heart pounding wildly madly. His day had not started out as he’d hoped it would. Weit von es. While out and about, a flâner, as his mamma used to say, he came across a woman staring at her reflection in the grocer’s window, her hands patting down her skirt, the woman laughing like a charmed lark.
[1] Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, Die Diene und die Henne (The Bee and the Hen, 1744)
[2]With singing and story-telling, after hard work and worry, let everyone refresh themselves with God’s splendid gifts.”

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"Poetry is the short-circuiting of meaning between words, the impetuous regeneration of primordial myth". Bruno Schulz

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