Tuesday, January 1, 2019

a great brooding-oven

Each century provides us with new things to conceal,
A territory that offers no purchase to the curious eye of affection,
Overgrown with loneliness, its ever denser leaves.

Günter Eich, Dreams, from Angina Days: Selected Poems, 2010, tr. Michael Hofmann

Now-a-days, when forests are burned to charcoal faster than they grow again, the only thing to be done is to warm the climate a good deal, and turn it into a great brooding-oven, kiln, and field-oven, so as to save the trouble, and obviate the necessity, of having stoves in the houses. And this has been in some measure attended to by careful Commissioners of Woods and Forests, who have cleared away the forests as much as they could, they being full of late winter. When one thinks how very beautifully modern Germany contrasts with that which Tacitus mapped, warmed as it is by the mere cutting down of the forests, we have little difficulty in feeling convinced that a time will come when, there being no more timber at all, we shall arrive at such a temperature that the atmosphere itself shall be our fur pelisse.

Jean-Paul Richter, Flower, Fruit and Thorn Pieces; or, the Wedded Life, Death, and Marriage of Firmian Stanislaus Siebenkaes, Parish Advocate in the Burgh of Kuhschnappel (a Genuine Thorn Piece), 1877, tr. Alexander Ewing

The last one for this year. Sorry, René Char. Sorry Déwé Gorodé.

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