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„Vielleicht hilft es uns“, schreibt Dieter M. Gräf in seiner Eröffnungsmail an Alessandro De Francesco, „wenn wir uns über post-poésie Gedanken machen, klarer zu sehen, wo wir derzeit stehen?“ Beide Dichter beschäftigen sich mit Entgrenzungen, mit anderen Medien, und werden nun in einer Korrespondenz für den poetenladen ihr Verständnis von zeitgenössischer Dichtung vorbringen und weiter entwickeln. In der Lyrik-Konferenz beziehen weitere Autoren Stellung.
Dieter M. Gräf  
Dieter M. Gräf, Jahrgang 1960, lebt nach seiner Kölner Zeit und Aufenthalten in Rom, New York und Vézelay nunmehr in Berlin. Er veröffentlichte 1994-2004 im Suhrkamp und Insel Verlag drei Gedichtbände sowie eine Anthologie; sein neuester Band, Buch Vier, liegt nunmehr bei der Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt vor. Green Integer veröffentlichte die Auswahlbände Tousled Beauty und Tussi Research (Los Angeles 2005/07).
Alessandro De Francesco  
Der 1981 in Pisa geborene, derzeit in Frankreich lebende Alessandro De Francesco debütierte mit Lo spostamento degli oggetti (Cierre Grafica/Anterem, Verona 2008) und bewegt sich mit seinen Texten, Performances und Vermittlungen international mit großer Selbst­verständ­lichkeit.

Achter Brief | Alessandro De Francesco antwortet Dieter M. Gräf

no first class second hand!
Achter Brief
Dear Dieter, I don't discuss the importance of the past and I am perfectly aware that every contemporary poetry has a deep and articulated relation with several past artistic (but not only) fields. As I wrote at the end of the last letter: „I am very interested in the heritage of the past, and several artistic traditions and languages influence my poetry. Nevertheless, I think that poetry itself, when we write it, can be contemporary, can be inside what is happening, not before or after. That is also why I really don't feel at all this famous anxiety of influence Harold Bloom wrote about.“ After this last letter of yours, it seems to me that we have a similar conception in this sense, and I find that you express it in a beautiful way when you write: „Hat das literarische Schreiben nicht auch diesen Zug ins Vergangene, so dass sich auratische Ablagerungen bilden können, und kommt nicht von daher, von den so möglich werdenden Schichtungen und Überlagerungen, Tiefe?“. I would add: it is the importance of the past that can „fill“ our poetry and make it deeper, but this doesn't mean that we are mere followers of our past. Hence, I also find that the definition First Class Second Hand is really not appropriate. We could say then that poetry can somehow „reactivate“ the past (and the present!) through unusual thinking and knowledge paradigms. While „behaving“ like that, poetry frees itself from a mere dependence on the past, because it lets the past be a part of the present, through language. In this sense, but only in this sense (I feel totally far away from Historicism and Idealism), we can think of Benedetto Croce's sentence: „All history is contemporary history“. No matter then if the text speaks about the Greeks, the Second World War, the 70s or Guantanamo (though more recent events can take up a wider room, and it is maybe not by chance if we both quoted Guantanamo). It can be either a contemporary text or a „conservative“ text in all cases. It depends on the text itself, not on its content. Your poetry is contemporary also when you write about a distant or a near past.

On the contrary, I don't follow you on your „nostalgia“ for Modernity. I find it somehow contradictory if I compare it with the way you criticize a First Class Second Hand conception of poetry. Moreover, although I consider that through politics my poetry has a strong relation to history, you are completely right when you say that there is a difference in our use of „people“ inside our texts. While you integrate historical figures and places (Mussolini, Pasolini, Feltrinelli, Fiume, Ostia, to quote some figures and places connected to my country), I work on a much more abstract level. As I have shown in my previous letter, even when I write poetry about historical and/or political events, my procedure is very indirect and, as I wrote, „non-linear“. I also rarely mention the name of people and places...I guess that the only figure I explicitly mention in my second book project, Ridefinizione, is the Dutch painter Jan Vermeer! In my first book, Lo spostamento degli oggetti, there are some places: the Centre Pompidou and rue Saint Lambert in Paris, Tiergarten in Berlin, Marina di Pisa in Italy. But it is impossible to understand why those places are mentioned, except for their symbolic function, which is quite clear, at least in the „macrotext“, and has nothing to do with „History“. I always try to keep a certain abstraction in poetry because I believe that a text may contain a wide range of experiences, that it can be a sort of potentially infinite set of persons, objects and events. Poetry for me is a possibility, and opens possibilities. As Michel Deguy wrote in his essay La raison poétique: „Le poème propose une possibilité. Il étend le possible sur et dans le monde – expansion des choses infinies“ (Poetry proposes a possibility. It extends possibility on and into the world – an expansion of infinite things). Nevertheless, your poetry, when it talks about a real historical figure and/or place, opens possibilities too, because that figure, that place, are (re)described and (re)told through a different perspective, the one that your text is able to delineate: when you write about history, you open a possibility in the past, as if the past was present. As I was saying above, you reactivate the past, you give the past the opening of the present, you make the past emerge as an unsolved matter, you make it haunt the present.

Anyway, I can also make a small confession! If the past is often nothing but an enrichment for me, sometimes I have problems with the future. Probably because I am still quite young, it happens to me that I think of how I will write in the future, of where I will be in the future. It can be a positive aspect, because in this way I am able to see the contingency and perfectibility of my work. But such a projection might also paralyze the act of writing in the present.

Before coming to my final list of names, that you asked me as a contribution against First Class Second Hand conceptions of contemporary poetry and that I will gladly provide, I would like to publicly thank you and Andreas Heidtmann for this extraordinary space of exchange you offered and I hope that other writers will join our discussion.

I will now give some names belonging to the other three languages and literatures I mainly frequented until now besides the German one (that is to say: Italian, French and Angloamerican) with the hope that at least some of the following authors will be translated and published in Germany. Let's start from Italy. While I am sure that Andrea Zanzotto is quite well known in the German-speaking community, at least because he got the Höderlin-Prize and he was published by Urs Engeler, Antonio Porta (1935-1989), which for me is, with Zanzotto, the most significant Italian poet of the second half of the 20th century, although translated and published in Germany, is almost not known at all in your country. Amelia Rosselli (1930-1996) is another author that has a big influence on the last generations of Italian poets. In the subsequent generation, I would say that Milo De Angelis, Gabriele Frasca and Valerio Magrelli (born in the 50s) should be definitely read by the German public especially for their early works (De Angelis's Somiglianze and Magrelli's Ora serrata retinae, for example, are two beautiful and revolutionary books). Giuliano Mesa and Flavio Ermini are also drawing a big attention in the experimental milieux. Among the pretty large amount of younger poets, I would like to mention Marco Giovenale (born 1969) and Giulio Marzaioli (born 1972). I strongly argue that they are destined to be considered two important poets of our time. About France: authors like Jean Daive and André Du Bouchet are somehow better known in Germany than in Italy because of Paul Celan's translations of their poetry. Thanks respectively to Angela Sanmann and Leopold Federmair, Bernard Noël and Michel Deguy are also being published more and more in your country. Jacques Roubaud's works are translated and published as well. Nevertheless, all these authors are not known enough. And there are other great poets like Claude Royet-Journoud (born 1941), Anne-Marie Albiach (born 1937) and our Jean-Marie Gleize (born 1946) that are almost not known at all in Germany. Royet-Journoud's Théorie des prépositions and Gleize's Film à venir, both published in 2007, are two recent huge outcomes in French literature. Among the younger generations, I was quite impressed when I read Pierre Alféri (born 1963), Franck Leibovici (born 1975) and especially Anne Parian (born 1964). I would also like to mention the francophone Canadian experimental writer Alain Farah (born 1979). Concerning the Angloamerican poetry (the only anglophone poetry I know a little bit), I would also say that Michael Palmer is one of the major poets of our time. Notes on Echo Lake is a masterpiece. Jorie Graham is a very important author too. In June 2007 we had a beautiful conference with her, Yves Bonnefoy and Michel Deguy at Maison de l'Italie in Paris, promoted by the comparative poetry magazine „Semicerchio“. I would like to add Robert Creeley, even if I guess (and I hope!) that he is already well known in Germany. Among the younger authors, I can mention Noura Wedell (born 1972), that I am going to translate and publish in Italy in 2009. But my knowledge of contemporary American poetry is still very defective.

Es ist geplant, an dieser Stelle Statements anderer Autoren zur bisherigen Korrespondenz wiederzugeben..

  1. post-poésie (I)
  2. post-poésie (II)
  3. ästhetisch links
  4. against dualisms
  5. Transfer
  6. (anti)political and transfer process
  7. jetzt
  8. no first class second hand!
  1. Lucas Hüsgen:
    In einer Hoffnung auf Wildnis
  2. Sylvia Geist:
    Finden, Fiebern, Übersehen
  3. Jean-Marie Gleize:
    L'excès – la prose
  4. Noura Wedell:
    Prejudice Perception
  5. Jan Volker Röhnert:
    Poesie und Gedicht
  6. Jayne-Ann Igel:
    Was auf der Hand liegt
  7. Anja Utler:
    Unter dem post-Deckchen
  8. Han van der Vegt:
    The Body Poetic
  9. Tom Pohlmann:
    Entgrenzungen. Oszillationen
  10. Flavio Ermini:
    La passione del dire
  11. Christian Schloyer:
    Tractatus ...
  12. Jérôme Game:
    Poetics of the borders
  13. Jürgen Brôcan:
    „... daß wir können sicher schreiben ...“
  14. Hans Thill:
    Weder Gott noch Metrum
  15. Tom Schulz:
    Anstelle einer Poetik
  16. Norbert Lange: