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By Gert Jonke

One of many most endearing riddles of Austrian literature is ultimately to be had in English translation: Gert Jonke’s 1982 novel, Awakening to the good Sleep struggle, is an day trip via a global in consistent frightened movement, the place truth is quickly fraying―flags refuse to stay to their poles, lids sidle off in their pots, tram tracks shake their stops away like fleas, and books abandon libraries in droves. Our cicerone in this trip in the course of the attainable (and very unlikely) is an “acoustical decorator” through the identify of Burgmüller―a poetical gentleman, the sweetheart of 3 girls, in a position to speak with birds, and a minimum of as philosophically minded as his writer: “Everything has all at once turn into so obvious that one can’t see via something anymore.” This significantly comic―and both melancholic―tale is likely to be Jonke’s masterwork.

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Or is that this merely the burning sleep of the desperately sparkling afternoon gentle, which has heated up because it burned down: are its atomized ruins inflicting the full nation at the back of it to swell up during this smoke-dust climate till the storm-twilight entrance of an incoming air mass drives this sunbeam-mushroom community aside? (Or is it the suggest, fecal smirk of a president going senile, a president of a so-called new international: the grin that during his international locations, illuminated each day from heaven above together with his directives, increased to legislation, determines the weather—has that grin now additionally crossed the sea and damaged out devastatingly there as that firmamental healthy of laughter at the splintering horizon? ) Gliding earlier now could be a lake whose floor is as delicate as though the water had started to freeze, to congeal right into a strong physique within the warmth of this summer time, to a block of mirrors buried within the land. at the not easy floor of the lake, which turns out polished, rowboats, sailboats and windsurfboards are locked in. They wriggle like fluttering, humming flies in amber, or creep like awakening fossils in the course of the mica schist of the mountains The lake doesn't reflect the chain of hills surrounding it, yet really a mountain that looks deeply fissured, as though the attention of this stretch of water may possibly see what needed to stay hidden to Burgmüller, even in this journey; or have been the mountains very far-off reflected within the sky in one of these manner that their silhouettes had fallen backtrack precisely into this lake back? He feels the quarter as heavily round his epidermis as though he have been being embraced. His eyes are already relatively drained from being so surprised, limp with exhaustion from awakening too frequently, they remain open now as though they have been mounted in that place, in order that they don’t continually need to be pried aside back; with open eyes via blind home windows . . . underway, yet now not of his personal volition, with out all too painful a departure, dropped at a cease with no need spotted the movement of the journey . . . to a layover disadvantaged of arrival . . . as though every thing may fall away again into oneself unhappy serenity accompanies every little thing he has conquer, the entire painful fulfillments of the convinced denials despatched in his course, and he has the company feeling, in basic terms simply because he has so rigorously gotten misplaced, that he'll quickly locate himself finally, that is what he has regularly been trying to do. meanwhile, the area has develop into so obvious at a look that you just can’t preserve whatever sincerely in view anymore. quickly, he thinks, we'll have thoroughly dissolved in it, whilst my dermis is the surface of the sky on the aspect the place sunrise and nightfall ensue at the same time, whilst i think the sky above me a growing number of as my very own pores and skin one way or the other pulled calmly over my head, like a fur coat pulled over my ears. a lot that's now invisible will quickly be really easy to find, simply because every thing has abruptly turn into so obvious that one can’t see via whatever anymore. in regards to the Authors GERT JONKE is counted between Austria’s most crucial authors and dramatists.

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