Doubters, Believers, Seekers in Literature and Film
Edited By Julian Ernest Preece, Frank Finlay and Sinéad Crowe
ROBERT GILLETT - Snatching a Brand from the Burning: Possibilities of Transcendence in Thomas Rosenlöcher’s Flockenkarussell 117
ROBERT GILLETT Snatching a Brand from the Burning: Possibilities of Transcendence in Thomas Rosenlöcher’s Flockenkarussell1 In the afterword to his 2007 collection of ‘Blüten- Engel-Schneegedichte’, Thomas Rosenlöcher recounts an elaborate anecdote about the transplanta- tion of a tree.2 It is a German-German tale of dispossession: the move became necessary when the poet lost his home near Dresden to one of the invading capitalists from the West. It is also an inner-German tale about the reactions of different groups of former GDR citizens, mainly ‘Elbtalbewohner’, to events surrounding 1989. In it, the changing times are symbolised by substitutions. A group of friends and a privileged brother are replaced by a commercial under- taking with a title and a telephone number. And instead of the once prized East German ‘Sekt’, the drink of choice, by the end of the story, is mineral water. Along the way, repeated reference is made to issues of property and ownership. At one level, then, the fable implicates history and is eminently political. Yet it also features a self-deprecating eccentric who, assisted by a set of loyal but not always approving friends, succeeds in carrying out a plan which most right-minded people would regard as crazy. The plan is essentially a private one, centred on the existential importance of a particular tree in the life and work of an individual poet. This in turn invokes and helps to conjure the complicated spectre of contemporary ‘nature poetry’. Moreover the title of the piece, itself taken...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.