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The concrete poetry returns home

A large truck rolled up to the Depot of the Swiss literary archives (SLA) at the Einsteinstrasse in Bern. Is loaded with nearly 130 carefully protected boxes. Your content: the archive of Eugen Gomringer, the pioneer of the concrete poetry with Bernese roots. The car comes from the upper Franconian town of Rehau, where the 94-year-old Gomringer lives and employees of the SLA in the last days with the selection and packaging of the material, have spent. In the crates of manuscripts, diaries, letters and collections – the documentation of an artist's life between Bolivia, Gomringers country of birth, Switzerland, and Germany are now.

But the journey to the SLA began long before the Transport. First, it is decided if an archive does not fit the collection mandate of the SLA, whether it is in the words of the head of Irmgard Wirtz, "relevant for the Swiss literature, and whether there are Connections to stocks that are already in the SLA". With its annual acquisition budget of a little more than half a Million Swiss francs can be bought for between six and twelve discounts.

The Material will be evaluated by SLA-internal and external evaluators and, if it is not a gift – after all, around 40 percent of the cases, even appreciated. Then an offer is made and, if the estate donor agrees, a contract is signed. In him, the Federal government is obliged, among other things, to dispose of any parts of the archive. And finally, it is Packed and transported, unloaded and worked up until the research, and interested members of the Public can consult the Material.

Christian Kracht wanted to much

Many authors make the SLA even your archives. "For sure once a week we get a request," says Irmgard Wirtz. Of course, need to be made to Cancel. Sometimes the negotiations fail later, because authors or their heirs terms and conditions that may not meet the SLA, a factory output, or a large exhibition about.

the money to do it, of course. So in the case of Christian Kracht, gives his stock now to Marbach German literature archive. Kracht, told Irmgard Wirtz, wanted to prevent the Transfer of his archive to a Trust, from which his daughter distributions would get. "I had to say: This model is the Federal government, unfortunately, is not known. To the terms on which he is now in Marbach, I don't know."

father and daughter: Eugene and Nora Gomringer in the Swiss literature archive. Photo: Franziska Roth Buehler

In the case of Gomringer, the SLA won against competitive offers of the Bavarian state library and in the town of Rehau. Gomringer had great sympathy for the idea, with his archive to Bern return. Here he studied, here he published the first concrete poems, which collected the language itself to the object and purpose of the poem.

Eugen Gomringers archive is now accessible. And the can take: With Hermann Burger's estate, for example, the SLA was employed for almost 30 years. Also Gomringers will, when worked up, 400 archive boxes to fill in the SLA.

You not only collects paper

of Course, archives are no longer mountains in the long-gone shelves with Paper: The SLA of various digitization projects for particularly important archival documents, for example manuscripts of the Swiss Nobel laureate Carl Spitteler followed. And Hermann Burger's first novel, "local report" was made in a complex Hybrid Edition available to the Public.

A part of the Gomringer archive is made of particularly resistant Material. "Gomringer was in Bern with a Plan to write in art history with a thesis on Italian churches," says Irmgard Wirtz. To be collected for this purpose he is on a Rome-trip-hand solid marble fragments from churches. And later on he picked on the world, stones that are in the future in the SLA on the side of the stone collection of Hermann Hesse. Concrete stone in addition to concrete poetry.

Created: 31.10.2019, 06:30 PM

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