September 24, 2021


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Landscape Portrait of Esther Kinsky "Riverland Tagliamento" - Culture

Landscape Portrait of Esther Kinsky “Riverland Tagliamento” – Culture

People only meet Esther Kinsky on Tagliamento in the form of hunters, “prick ears and small game shadows / hanging from belt hooks”. The main character in her volume “Floss Land Tagliamento” is the river itself, or just: the view of the wide river. Because snow and heavy rain are becoming increasingly rare. Therefore, most days of the year, there is a bare river bed, a river made of stones.

Granite, porphyry, malachite – even in her last poetry volume, “Schiefern,” Esther Kinsky looked at different rock layers and formations. In the Inner Hebrides, where the slate islands are located, “Halden, fields of ruins” paid more attention than picturesque natural postcards. Also in Friuli, Kinsky now finds “a stunted terrain, with a dense landscape. Closed work. Little flowery things overflow from concrete cracks, elderberry crowds against the silhouettes of mountains, and the light blue crevice of a river valley.”

Of course, beauty can also lie in the stones. Curlew, reed warbler and lapwing populate the river area anyway, and last but not least, beautiful plants like milkweed, knapweed and light carnations appear themselves to the trained eye in times of drought. Thus the components of sweet natural bliss are given.

The poetic terrain map is also a personal study of the area

But for Kinsky, nature is not a means to an end. With the gaze of a neutral but thirsty researcher, she scours the site. As a sort of biographer, you explore its history with the highest intensity of perception and trace the remaining rivers that spread among the mounds of gravel “like memory.”

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The short poems and prose pieces of Floss Land Tagliamento differ from the stern poems of Schiefern and the broad prose volumes of Am Fluss and Hain with their particular lighter tone and a wholly catchy graphic. Just as Banatsko, her book on the Hungarian, Romanian and Serbian border region, preceded the airy story of Sommerfrische, now the FlussLand Tag poet and translator working for some time can become home.

If this hope is deceiving, the volume—which Christian Thanosser has provided with numerous woodcuts—is at least a poetic map of the region, which can also be considered a personal study of that karst region. Long after the last of the fishermen has disappeared, it is not without joking that he records the “calm after the river.”