Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"Amras" / Thomas Bernhard - unauthorized translation, Jeff Gabel



text used in on site installation at MONA (penultimate draft; final corrections currently exist in print only)


After the suicide of our parents we were both locked up in the tower for 2 ½ mths, in the landmark of our suburb Amras, which is accessible only via the large apple orchard, yrs ago property of our father, leading up southwards towards the foundation stone.
The tower belonging to our uncle has, in these 2 ½ mths, been for us a refuge, protecting us from the grasp of the people, and saving & hiding us from the gazes of the world, still acting and comprehending only out of malice.
It was only the influence of our uncle, our mother’s brother, to which we owed the fact that we were not, contrary to the brazen Tyrolean health laws concerning those discovered in the act of suicide, sentenced to continue living in misery and thus displaced, directed into the mental institution and weren’t, like so many, required to share the terrifying fate, with which I was familiar, of those from Oberinntal and from Karwendel, and from Brenner villages, who were, only once they were in the institution, shattered and destroyed.
Our family pact was, by a businessman and creditor of our father from Imist, discovered 2 hours too early and made public: we had still not, as opposed to our parents, been dead…
…immediately and, which our uncle hadn’t concealed from us, completely naked, wrapped up in 2 horse blankets and a Hundsfell, we had been, still that same night and still in unconscious condition, in order to leave before the arrival of the health officials, brought, in a fast car sent by our uncle, from our home to Amras, and thus to safety, into the background of the finger pointing and gossip and betrayal and infamy…we had, like our parents, wished for our suicide and discussed it with each other…and on the 3rd wanted absolutely no more to consider a postponement, which we had often been, over the course of the winter through the concerns of our mother and each time at the last minute, forced to accept.
Left behind w/out our parents, left alone by them, we laid, Walter and I, in the days shortly after the suicide night, described to us in shame by everyone only in fragments and thus having remained so obscure, starting from the 1st moments in the tower, the whole time on the straw sacks probably freshly laid out in a hurry, in the middle part of the floor of the tower, first unconscious, later silent and listening and after that, often holding our breath, starting w/ the end of the 1st week, walking back & forth more often, concerning ourselves with nothing other than our completely eclipsed, deceived, still not 20-yr-old persons. The tower had been familiar to us since childhood as no other Tyrolean structure, not a prison…on the upper as on the lower stairway we constantly listened, feeling our way and freezing, in our, coming from all directions, utterly impulsively destroyed thoughts, in our incurable, even if higher-level sibling apathy…Our vigilance oppressed our mood and constricted our reasoning…We didn’t look out the window, but we heard enough noises to be afraid…Our heads were, if we stuck them outside, subjected to the malice of the Föhn; we could barely breath anymore in the air currents…It was the beginning of March…We heard many birds and didn’t know, what kind of birds…The water of the Sill cascaded near us into the depths and noisily separated us from Innsbruck, our hometown, and thus from the world which had become so unbearable to us…Flipping through the books and writings, sent, as we had still been passed out, apparently completely absent and unconscious – as dead, out of Herrengasse up to Amras, selected with great consideration by our uncle, both of ours, my, incomprehensible to Walter, natural science books, Walter’s, incomprehensible to me, musical books, contemplating our own and others’, the universal great history, making us insane, the millions of snowstorms of developments – we had always loved what was difficult for us, despised what was easy for us -- drawn back deeper and deeper in our raging heads, we stuffed our tower full of sorrow.

We answered a letter from Hollhof, psychiatrist from Meran, a friend of our father, which we’d received only 3 days after we’d been in the tower, as follows:

Geehrter Herr,
the time when we can report something to you about the conditions that led to the death of our parents, since you’re requiring us to give you a description of, above all, the time between our parents (and our) decision to commit suicide and the fulfillment of their suicide, as concerns us about our ‘performance in the suicide’, still hasn’t come; we want, at the moment, nothing more than to be left in peace.
We thank you for your concern
K.M.W.M.

We sent a 2nd answer letter to Kufstein on the same day:

Sehr geehrte gnädige Frau, all claims by you regarding the businesses of our father are to be addressed to our uncle, the brother of our mother, who you know.

Respectfully, K.M.W.M.

Encouraged only thru our uncle’s attentiveness, who, twice a week, every Tues & Sat – his business didn’t allow it more often, on other days – looked in on us, always in good spirits, it seemed to us, always w/ newspapers, reports and new info, which, however, only devastated us, we suddenly existed, strictly dependent on our own terrible characters, damaged since forever, alert, with little stamina, in the darkness which increasingly conspired against us, irritating even our capability to sit and lie and stand, naturally our capability to think and speak, our general capability for reason in the, for us, not centuries-old but millennia-old tower.

Also in the tower Walter, as he had already done his whole life, received on a regular basis the, for him, important, precious visits by the medical specialist, an epilepsy doctor famous and notorious throughout Tyrol, a brutal, overly-healthy 40 yr old man, who, probably medically trained as no one else through early enthusiasm and later cleverness and having always been hated by us, had also treated our mother…After we were as good as lost to the world in the tower and suddenly abandoned by our parents and their protective vigilance, Walter’s sickness, having been destroying him since birth, more and more thoroughly undermining at first only his disposition, but later also his mind, underhandedly as well as openly proceeding against him with, as it seemed, logical cruelty, had, transparently as if in clusters and steps, periodically worsened heavily and, as a result, also exacerbated our mutual relationship to each other, based on sibling trust as on sibling over protectiveness, to the limits possible for us to bear…But we had to stick together, and so we tolerated each other…

We had both, immediately after the end of our blackout, caused by the pills and detoxed by the 2 doctors from Innsbruck with, as one can imagine, great celebration, feared, in the certainty of having to exist, again against our choice, therefore all the more horrifyingly, that Walter’s seizures, acquired from birth and inherited from our mother’s side, facilitated by his exostose, abusing him with lightning speed from time to time and having completely stopped in the last few months, would, now, in the tower, under the intense pressure of what had happened to us, be capable of occurring again…and they actually did occur again (the attacks which he delayed as a result of his long-term scientific exertion) right after the first steps into the tower…My brother, a year younger, had been more delicately constructed than me, subject to a skittish nervous system, his constitution a more weakened one by nature…his whole life he’d been afraid of our mother’s seizures, he had expanded this fear for himself in the tower…after he, for days, continually silent and, like me, without food, had taken a look at himself, his epilepsy had, as he suddenly, getting up to stand using my help, wanted to go to the window, descended upon him again, though at first only briefly, as a so-called momentary aphasia completely w/out unconsciousness… In the darkness I hadn’t seen, obeying the vehemence of the disease, how his face, how his eyes above all had changed, through the disease, but on his wrist, on which I held him, leading him, as he fell, I had felt his condition…We feared a catastrophic worsening of his epilepsy…We’d had to spent our entire life, which was bound to our parents as to 2 pillars, in constant fear of the, to us, ever sinister, and also our mother’s sinister “Tyrolean Epilepsy”…this sickness had, starting from a point in time absolutely no longer determinable, destroyed us all, this epilepsy known only in Tyrol…Our mother had been, remarkably late, in her 21st year of life, shortly before Walter’s birth, suddenly struck with it, in a single moment, detectably, at the height of a dance festival in an estate in Wilten…and had, in a way immediately shaking up her environment, suddenly changed…Walter, from his childish over-fear, had probably been quickly disturbed and damaged by it…I myself, dangerously fearless as a child, never touched by it, not even in the slightest…It seemed as if this disease, appearing everywhere all the time in Tyrol, after our mother’s death, had thrown itself completely on Walter. Now, in the tower, and also more and more recklessly as the days passed, it appeared as I had known it from our mother, sheltered, so it seemed to me, by everything, fostered by the tower atmosphere, in him again, more cruel than before our parents’ death…In a way which frightened me I observed how he, Walter, became, from day to day, also more physiognomically similar to our mother, in his silence, skin color, vocalization, regarding his spiritual reactions, body functions…The sleeplessness, which, stemming from a physical brutal law transparent to us, subject to an air rhythm completely foreign to us, suddenly befell us for a time span immeasurable to us, prevented us from calming ourselves, even just for moments…

Only seldom did we venture to the window and pull the shutters back: we looked, deceived, it seemed to us in the howling storm, at the indiscriminately crippled apple trees, into a high mountain landscape, deaf due to the pure gloom & riddle of nature & distortion of reason; strangely loud, it seemed to us, and, as if only apparently, occupied, far below at the end of the apple orchard where the circus was, by people; stubborn; in its peculiarity irritated only on the black and brown and here & there white surfaces; in its suburban character existing only through punishable actions; generation discontent…What we heard were the clear clots of an incessant, dead tired chemistry, what we saw day and night was nothing but night…roaring, deafening darkness. We had been constantly, and from the beginning, schooled in the observation of all failure, but here in the tower, disturbed, pulled into confidence by all of nature, we suddenly felt the wisdom of decay…Distracted from ourselves by nothing other than ourselves, we glimpsed ourselves in Amras in our seething, then again rigid sibling context…repeatedly asking the question: why we still had to live...and remained without answer the entire time – never a clarifying echo, always nothing but setbacks and brain seizures! – dependent on each other in a, yes, constricting if also humane, double-minded isolation increasing by the hour in us and around us, even in the most pitiful actions and tasks…even after days, after weeks we didn’t dare to speak with each other about the catastrophe; we confined ourselves, in animal-like companionship, just below the level of any sort of mystification, to the organic…in the possibilities of dying off, everything failed in us, in the deepest energies of nature…In the moaning of his half sleep I heard how my Walter often fantasized about being home, from the tower down to Herrengasse, to the days preceding our suicide and our suicide attempts, in the March air, the humidity, which had never stood for us even for a moment, constantly only against us; continually more solemn, more cheerful about death: The entire afternoon of the 3rd, suddenly seeming so favorable to all of us, we had just waited for it, as if in response to our wish, to become dark soon, over with soon, so that, along with the daylight, we also, parents, sons, quickly, effortlessly, would simply descend into sleep and expire, be gone…We asked, with lucid consciousness, not w/out words, for an unusually quick sleep…we asked it of the pills in our glasses…we only looked at the glasses now, the murky white drink…we didn’t want to continue anymore, exist anymore, be anything anymore…Behind closed windows, closed curtains, completely separate and close together, we were already prepared; now & then a noise coming up from the street, a noise from a cart, a laugh, distant commotion coming over from Büchsenhausen, had been, for us, a contact with the world…a door, a window, a chair…We hadn’t eating anything more, drunk anything more…had suddenly, for the last time, as we believed, found pleasure in our clothes, our hands, voices, ideas… in the sweet smell of our pantry, which was open, no longer entered by any of us…my brother had 3, 4, 5 books laying in front of him on the table…Stifter, Jean Paul, Lermontow…the curtains, quickly pulled back once by myself, caused my brother Walter, sitting at the window occupied w/ his books, as if studying, to look up at me terrified, while I observed, on the street already nearly completely darkened by the mountains, a few people going to the theater…I observed 2 girls, sisters, and a pair of brothers, 2 professors in black coats, with grey black-banded hats, accustomed to their walking sticks; about 3 meters behind them the professors’ wives, also dressed in black…these people have, as others their Wednesday- or their Saturday-, their comedy- or tragedy-seats, their Thursday-seats…I observed the newspaper man, our neighbor, in an old tippet kept in a military cut, a butcher girl with a basket of sausage, and a stranger… It was sad what I saw, sad what I thought, I mournfully pulled the curtains closed, in the sadness which is driven by reason…I had still caught sight, beyond, between the facing houses, of the Inn, of the flowing, continually meandering yet always same water…The Inn, the artery on which our name participated for a few fleeting generations, mysteriously flippant…Turning around I was then terrified by the ghostly ellipsis of the family: observing ourselves we were, our parents and their sons, in our house, sanitized as prevention, it seemed to us, by the strangers, house employees, servants, let out of the cage after we’d also sent away the yard workers…now only comparable to a travel group silently awaiting the departure of a train already long since boarded…Our mother, for the first time again in weeks, had left her bed and sat by the oven…I saw her as a reticent monument of Tyrolean exhaustion…In her grey chiffon dress, long out of style, which, like all of her clothes, due to her meager arms, had sleeves that reached over the backs of her hands, she had been, to me, the expression of melancholy of an old family line afflicted by disease, the quiet dissimulation of a hell…We had offered each other the better places…our father, it appeared, had read the ads in our newspaper…my brother, from time to time, had submerged himself in the writings of Sterne and of Dante and Donne, which he had in the end picked out for himself…in Diderot…We expected no one, if the bell rang, it was agreed, we would no longer answer…We could think of no person who could’ve come…The evening fell, as we had always been accustomed, a giant dead bird of prey, onto the street…then we’d heard the church bells so clearly that we could distinguish the locations of the individual tolls coming down from Wilten, Pradl, Hötting and Amras…Strange: people were going to the theater on this evening…Each supplied with, as it seemed to us, sufficient pills in their glass, we moved into the rooms and therefore, as agreed, back away from each other …I’d still heard our father laugh from the bedroom, Walter, at 9:30, had already turned toward the wall, I myself, for more than an hour, then without success, had defied the sleeping medicine, had stood up, gone into the hall and then down to the house entryway and back to my an my brother’s room again…for a moment, just a moment I hoped that someone would come into the house and discover us…no one came…the Inn’s water crashed, and soon I was swimming in nothing more than milky images, in high towering, then collapsing waves onto the site of the river bank altered by the rockslides and feared by us as children…In the city there was suddenly a noise, as if people were being shot…I heard steps coming over from the customs office, more and more footsteps, as if the soldiers were now deploying…a bird, growing larger and larger, was suddenly in the room, crashing in despair against all 4 walls…I was afraid I would suffocate…

In the tower, equipped, as I know, by our uncle with preference for the darkness, over years increasingly obfuscated by him, apparently for himself, we lived through a single sleepless night, mitigated only by the heavy pains in our bodies and emotions, by noises from water and birds, and the beautiful, the so-called sublime art and the distinguished sciences, as whose beneficiaries both of us had the privilege of examining, as well and as long as was possible, from childhood onwards always almost undisturbed in our parents’ environment, if also in the shadow of our diseases, were, for us, who had been, at our father’s orders, abruptly commanded back from out of country (from England), where we had been directed for the purpose of study, due to the increasingly severe disease of our mother, also due to the completely sudden, out of country, increasing acuteness of Walter’s disease, suddenly no longer a means of distracting us, fundamentally enough to be healing, from ourselves, from our terrifying attacks, from our terrifying state of disease, let alone rectify us…It seemed to us during these weeks as if my science had died from us along with our parents, as if it had committed suicide with our parents…as if Walter’s music had been dead since then; we looked into our research, into our astounding theories and discoveries, into our intellectual products at once, like 2 people betrayed of everything in a morgue; with every book that I opened, I opened a coffin…our aesthetic, even our earliest fragmentary accomplishments, rights, privileges for our life, evidence of our intellectual development, were entombed…Walter, a year younger, with, if a more sick, then all the more artistic nature, harmony, no longer heard, at any time, such distant music; it had veritably withdrawn in terror from him, for whom it had been everything, who couldn’t have even imagined a life without it, which he had studied for himself…My science, what it depicted, had at once become for me noting more than a disparity of that which I had always been, unsettling me, punishing me on its own behalf… The weather surrounding the tower, suddenly, in the later March days, becoming obstinate, consisted ostentatiously of thousands of contradictory moods, mutations, revolutions, explosions…it had a terrible influence, strangely, on us in the tower, we who were consistently melancholy, suddenly far behind, behind ourselves without any type of progress: we often crept, as agreed, into the backmost corner of the black kitchen, situated only a few steps from our straw sacks…now & then in the dawn, when the abyssal night had become a yet more abyssal, as we believed, denigrating one, when the mountains’ temples, the walls cutting into the Sill’s water, when the monumental chasm, echoless from the roaring Sill, obscured from us, as punishment, beyond recognition our surrounding environment and thus our internal environment, obscured and crippled, we ventured forth…Then we displaced, over and over, as if taunted by ourselves, by the landscapes, by the sciences, by the human conceits and arts, amidst foolish confused calls, crumbles of sentences, until midnight and beyond, driven only by the warmth and the animalistic jealousy of our bodies pounding in their roots, the tables and chairs and benches and chests around the tower…once we burrowed our bodies under the pile of apples, under the mountain of pears, into the mold, rot…as if we’d wanted, thru this means of crippling of the senses, to slowly suffocate…We often inflicted injuries on our bodies then, when we believed, when we felt, when we knew that our souls, yes our minds had already become insensitive to pain, now & then in great excitement, on the chest, on the back, on the thighs and on the knee joints, also on the palms of the hands and on the backs of the heads, not to each other but rather each for himself, brotherly, at the mercy of the quickness of our behavior risen from the earliest spring temperament…we beat, in counterpoint, with continually stronger rhythm, our heads against all 4 walls…wantonly, amid invoking laughter we often, with joy, shredded, led by odors and therefore boils, fastened onto nothing but air, to the fiendish oxygenic, our clothes, our pants and shirts…we were the destructive center of all destruction, each of us for himself…morbid in our contrasts…we quickly exhausted ourselves in our exaltations…Most recently we had kept on turning over our straw sacks, intoxicating ourselves on the rotten smell of their bowels…we both discovered, during such conditions triggered in us by the Föhn, during such opportunities which we, by arrangement yet w/out words, brought about, a primitive agility, cattiness in ourselves…We avenged ourselves!...We avenged ourselves thoroughly against our own bodily and mental defects…It usually lasted hours until we, after such conditions as those indicated by me, could free ourselves from hundreds of such remaining in the dark…It was cold in the tower, due to the proximity of the Sill River, nonetheless we often stood, after dinner, as long as we could bear it, completely naked, body to body, in a tender touch which for us had long ceased to cause wonder, leaned on the walls flashing with moisture, in a type of prohibitive pubescent manner of refreshment which weighted our heads…Walter’s skin, spotless, sick, in embarrassment, gleamed the most beautifully, where the light reflection from the Sill shone in through an almost pointed angle, broken by a narrow shadow created by the left window shutter …anxious, yes fearful, we were silent in such moments, which, from our earliest childhood, we were able to accentuate and carefully refine…they now irritated us, more & more painfully, more & more illicitly…here in the tower we continually had to rely increasingly on presumptions in our highly developed senses as scouts…We carried out excesses, we succeeded at no conversation.
My explanation of chromonema, for example, of endomitosis, of the isotope and mitochondria, the nucleus, the pleiotrope, which had always astounded, always brought enjoyment to my Walter, since in his, to me, precious relationship to his idea of a, to him, “Spanish” science, Correns and Mendel’s formulas and theories had always been merely poetry to him, crumbled on my tongue…likewise Walter’s recitations of Baudelaire’s and Novalis’ verses or even simply the most naïve attempt at an approach to the ‘Address of Christ, dead, from up on the edifice of the world’ only released terror in us, for it ended each time miserably even in its approaches; our manner of speaking, Walter’s above all, which, because I hadn’t been forced to hear mine coming out from myself, I could judge most accurately, had earlier, in our parents’ house, always been candid, through our childhood and school years up til the catastrophe filled w/ it’s beautiful rhythm, a boost for many things, for everything, and suddenly choked off menially, kicked, a panic in fragments.

To Hollhof
Dear Sir, we’re reporting a strange concurrence of our thought processes, though still chaotic now in the tower: we endorse the actions of our parents, we don’t, contrary to the public, to the Innsbruck newspapers, court officials, judge them…We know what the newspapers wrote and what they’re writing, because we read them; what was, what is spoken in Innsbruck and what in Wilten and Amras, in Hall and in Kufstein, in Wörgl, in the whole Inn Valley, because our uncle keeps reporting it to us…How scandalously the atrocious gossip material, based solely on common neighborhood speculations, simply flows into the lewd decaying Innsbruck alleys, into its streets and plazas, which, in the businesses and inns and at the markets in these days and weeks, since we were after all both well known in all of Tyrol, had already been well known throughout centuries…travels form mouth to mouth, from mind to mind…How we would, had we not been brought by our uncle to Amras into the tower, have had to suffer in Innsbruck and among the people, and how we would have suffered…and also in the mental institution under the conditions which still continued to prevail there…Even on the 1st tower day, on the day when we were awoken, Walter suspected that our Innsbruck household had been liquidated: that trucks incessantly drove away through Herrengasse with our beautiful belongings, fully loaded trucks…he sees them first from the left and then from the right…he sees, continually, the ‘dreadful, unavoidable…’ Our uncle’s behavior indicated it as well…Our uncle visits us Tuesday & Saturday accompanied by the medical specialist, who administers medicine to Walter…he injects, for the seizures, a totally new chemical into him…he keeps coming w/ larger and larger boxes, the opening of all of which is so complicated...Our uncle clarifies for us what has happened, what is painfully happening, in the Innsbruck Herrengasse…but it had lasted more than a week until our parents’ household, in which you had often been our guest for weeks, remaining for us the original cell of our family property over the course of years, practically no longer existed…We heard, from day to day, about objects dear to us which had been carried off, about furniture pieces, about paintings and books, about mirrors, dishes and clothes. We heard that everything on which our childhood was bound had been, with the quickness of the new official possessors, scattered in all the winds, abducted from us, as Walter imagined it, in all directions in large and small trucks…Now we only heard about lawyers and undertakers, about cemetery administrators, stonemasons, death certificates…about clerical and secular infamy, about dismissed servants, about the Tyrolean closed-mindedness…about the policies of hundreds of creditors, Innsbruck Journalist leeches…We supposedly were also awaiting a lawsuit against us in June, the Tyrolean prosecutor was curious about various inconsistencies: our parents had supposedly not been found in, but rather beside their beds, ie, on the floor…Walter and I, pressed against each other, in Walter’s bed…Our discoverer is the businessman Lugger from Imst…Our uncle had done everything for us for the best: visits, apologies, thousands of explanations…Legislature and bishop visits…Mayor visits…Court visits…the sudden massive correspondence…the doctor consultations…Designated as our guardian, he had intended to keep us protected in Amras against injury from the outside environment…We are pleased with that which he has rescued for us, even if it is very little belonging to us…the liquidation had come too quickly, the speed of the creditors had caught us off guard…We had even, according to a court order, had to part with our bicycles, birthday gifts from our uncle, because no one in the Inn Valley had been in so much debt as our father…

We didn’t venture to think over, let alone determine the reasons for our fate thoroughly, so, that it would have helped us along…We avoided the words, concepts that hurt us…but we didn’t succeed at making ourselves pain free, not even temporarily, the most unbearable of all pains was continually thrust on us: the memory of our parents…Walter often went to the window and looked out and said: “There’s nothing!”, although for him there actually had been, under the tower window, something, a noise, a voice…yes, a voice had drawn him to the window…the voice of our mother, the footsteps of our parents in the garden, at all times of the day, often at night, repeatedly…every time, however, the same “There’s nothing…”, it was repeated daily, in continually shortening intervals, that he jumped up and rushed to the window…then his silence as if in terrible submission…Our childhood, which probably connected most intimately with our parents, precisely because we had never been shocked by them, always just left to rely on ourselves, not w/out rearing, a very free and thus disciplined rearing…was, in these weeks, so present to us as never before…even crazy, it was a comfort for our insanity…We often sat, turned away from each other, opposite each other in our catastrophic corporal and mental conditions, after long periods of the convulsions of our brains, when suddenly my Walter bounded to the window, startled by a call…which, from a certain point onwards, I also heard…but in the garden there was never even a hint of a person calling to us…but we heard it for many weeks, always at the same time…very clearly the calling voices of our parents.


FLOORS AND WALLS
Through the floors and walls we were bound as tight as possible, and even doubly so intellectually, with the whole of nature, not merely through the air...we listened for hours on the most distant shores...we heard the composite of all possible languages, the composite and droning of all sounds filled our head cavities, which were occasionally completely without flesh, without blood...in a certain relationship of our temple bones to the earth's epicenter, which we could identify for ourselves and for everything, we had been initiated into the processes of creation, into the willpower of all matter...We were then conscious of ourselves as 2 double-mirror images of the universe...heavenly apparitions, reflections from hell...In oceans and deserts at once the convulsion of the atmospheres...we were often really so high up in the constellation view that we shivered, even water, rock...in the advantage of mortality, if we listened and, through listening, comprehended...we felt and we comprehended...we looked, no longer reliant on assumptions, at the calculations of clear human reason...in what delicate un-perplexing silence were we able, in such moments, to agree with each other, to renew each other...We were careful not to address that what had been seen...The fantastic revealed everything to us for only seconds, only to obscure it for itself again...the highest moments were, naturally, always the shortest, absolutely shortest moments of all...Our temples pressed against the floors and walls, we observed the turning of millions of light years, far distant...conical gyroscopes, spherical celestial heavenly bodies, the precise suppleness of mathematics...

We were amazed that we were still alive...still existed, dared to exist again, not, along with our parents, gone, cast out from the world...still not caught up in metamorphosis...We'd been ready to die...we'd completely trusted in our parents' judgment, heeded our father...We'd already been confident about our death...we had not been allowed to die...inducted into the suicide plot, we had really, during the past few weeks at home, already been liberated through the consciousness of dying, of being able to die, the prospect of being dead soon had placated us both...The humid weather probably precipitated our decision, no longer allowed us delays, but the decision had already been made before Christmas Eve...All of our lives had become unbearable through the morbid diseases of our mother and my brother, if a person knows what such diseases constantly cause...which can no longer be healed...And Walter's morbid disease, the double morbid disease, the morbid disease of our mother and his morbid disease together...and the, consequently, tanked businesses of our father...this cause of sensation, humiliating us all...this legal conversation material, humiliating us all...the large, the beautiful inn in Lans, the woods in Aldrans, the vineyard, the mill and the cornfields in Fulpmes were suddenly, we had still been children, in disrepair, leased, gone...eventually only the 2 apple orchards in Wilten still belonged to us, but soon they too were in the hands of the most unfamiliar stranger...in the last decade, our father had gambled and drank the money away in the beautiful Italian cities of Mantua and Turin, where he had friends, in Rome, Venice and Genoa, in Trent and Bolzano...the 1st, the most painful of all losses: the Muttereralm, the Passaier quarry...The mortgages, the debts in Vorarlberg had already darkened our life early on...the parents, it’s true, sheltered us from the eclipse, but we felt our way, again and again, already as children, through the shadows cast by our parents...Most of all the long-term bedridden condition of our mother, which demanded continuous help and, although mild, had made her suffering the center of our lives, was what depressed us incessantly...through the monotonous gloom of all the years we had soon become incapable of ever again being rescued by health...we were also ruined by the coming and going, already a habit for us, of all sorts of megalomaniac doctors, Innsbruck occultists, creditors at our parents' house...Naturally there soon remained nothing left for us but the suicide, exterminating, liquidating all 4 of us...How fortunate that our parents no longer had to experience us...Now, through our uncle's explanation, who kept coming, with many papers, from the city up to the tower, we both finally saw how perforated our shared existence had already always been.

In the tower, completely undamaged by countless yearly earthquake shocks, always kept locked by us with oak wood and thus secure from the criminal populace, in the cellars as well as the attic, there was, in preparation for catastrophes feared by our uncle, food stockpiled for many years...but we never touched it, we rather made due with the milk set before the tower door for us by one of the garden workers, and the fresh bread that went along with it; for lunch we ate apples and pears, with which the upper and lower floors were filled; in the evenings we heated up, on the open fire in the black kitchen, a pot of wine (Lebenberger, Küchelberger, Greifener...), which we drank on our straw sacks without speaking; in addition we ate some of the smoked meat that hung in the black kitchen...the smoked meat, hanging from the ceiling of the black kitchen, inherently became, under a compulsive view, for us, who at the moment lived constantly in deadly fear, something fantastical, tended towards fantastical-gruesome, for us 2 heads, minds, locked in the tower, us who, our entire lives, in high mountain fever, had had to misfeel and misthink, without exception, everything, a fantastical image of killed soldiers, of dead asses and heels and heads and arms and legs hanging down out of the darkness of the kitchen ceiling...a fiction of corpses, male corpses continually, rhythmically descending on each other, conjured by our predispositions to amplify horror...Our uncle had allowed us to eat the smoked meat, had, even on the 1st day when we were both frightened by it, encouraged us to...I cut it every evening as ornately as possible in paper-thin slices and dunked it in the wine for us...

THE AUGSBURG KNIFE
OR THE KNIFE OF PHILIPPINE WELSER
I cut the smoked meat and also the bread w/ the knife which Philippine Welser had brought along from Augsburg to Tyrol for Archduke Ferdinand in 1557 and which, 2 meters from our straw sacks, hung on the wall in the black kitchen. Walter didn't dare use it, he was even terrified of simply holding it, but it excited him when I, much more adept at handwork, cut into the smoked meat with it...the astoundingly fine, the 'philosophical chiseling' (Walter) on both sides of the sharp blade, portraying the towers of the Lech city of Augsburg, interested us, we liked it...At night, Walter often dreamed all about the knife...he was afraid that, in his hand, it would be used only for 'inflicting pain which otherwise wouldn't occur', he lived in such perception, as regards the knife, he was afraid he would stab himself with the 'artwork from Augsburg belonging to our uncle' once it would be in his hand...and so he didn't touch it the entire time, until his death, that he was in the tower...Walter followed each of my steps with great attention, making me contemplative: how he dared to say 'The knife is newly sharpened' to me was revealing, made me think; how he always avoided it, how he feared looking at it longer than, as he said, 'conducive' for him; he didn't look at it like a person looks at a knife...whatever he said anyway regarding the Augsburg knife made me think, but everything said by Walter in the tower had made me think...it led me to the dark sibling thoughts...Even as a child I'd seen the Augsburg knife in its place in the black kitchen; it had always been there for cutting smoked meat and bread; strange, Walter, I'm reminded, had refused, even as a child, to touch it when we came in the tower on Easter, Pentecost, Dreikönig...on late summer days, chased by millions of honey seeking bees, looking for protection in the tower from the gnats...sunken on the same straw sacks on which we now had our camp...Searching for and finding refuge from an incensed nature which sodomized us...The Augsburg knife or the knife of Philippine Welser: my uncle didn't understand why my brother continually feared it, the sharpest; one time he wanted to force it on him, to shove it in his hand with the swiftness of an adult, but my Walter sprang back from it...the knife sprung to the floor, I remember it exactly: I had been, in the moment in which it lay on the floor, gripped by its glistening and sparkling...I recalled this occurrence immediately at the new sight of the knife...I made the proposal to Walter right on the first day in the tower that I personally would spare him from taking it down from the wall...I wanted to give it to our uncle so he would take it away with him...but my brother didn't want that...With closed window shutters it simulated a 'Turkish moon' for us...The sight of the Augsburg knife, the knife of Philippine Welser, must have unleashed, in contrast to me, in whom it conjured nothing other than the pleasure of an unusual sharpness and a high art, the beauty of fantasy arisen from the elements, in Walter on the other hand something irritating, something which frightened, incomprehensibly frightened him, a tremendous terror...

Above all we occupied ourselves in the tower with our childhood, which we had lost along w/ the catastrophe...it lay for us behind an obscure forest of disappointments, through which there was no longer a way back...in our dreams we breathed in its air, heard its running stream...there they were, the naïve thought swings, arabesques on the forbidding outer facade of life...left to ourselves, our childhood had been steered inconspicuously consistently by our parents through their knowledge and feeling...later by the arts of medical prescription, paternal as well as maternal despair...a mournful neglect of everything in which we were allowed to cautiously develop ourselves darkened our final family decade together...around us and in us and with us everything crumbled, we could see it in the people, on the houses as in thoughts...watch it on the buildings turned away by their owners...Soon the grass had no longer been fresh, the grain no longer so high, the books suddenly no longer so insurmountable...we went to the country less and less often, traveled less and less often to Italy, Munich, hardly at all anymore to relatives...no longer to the lake...everything had to lapse...Many months on end we were sentenced at Herrengasse to a life of ever more drab disposition which embittered our studies...the epilepsy eclipsed us.

To Hollhof
Geehrter Herr, our Hochschule studies, lasting only 5 ½ months, had been a traversing, arbitrarily and, equally radically, suppressing our spirits, of the Leopold-Franzens University and its institutions at the Botanical Garden, the daily passage through a round millennium of our putrid scientific world...even waking up in our parents' house had been nothing but misery, since in reality it amounted to already waking up in the high, grey, unresponsive courtrooms of hollow curricula, world views, dusty theories and philosophies, waking up in the reeking laboratories and lecture halls of our dismal provincial capital...During these months we had quickly exhausted ourselves in the memorization of depressing forms of etiquette of the pseudo intellect, in the nauseating sub-ravings of higher education...We couldn't find the sources for our music and for our natural science on pubic grounds, rather only in ourselves...The so called Schoolish like the so called Higher Schoolish had indeed always been despised by us, also despised by our father...In the daily swallowing of the world-infecting thick scholarly poison, urged on us by the state, destroying everything subtle in our young brains, which were no longer capable of incivility, we had soon overtaxed our faculties...Our university time was probably our worst time, hardly a time of life…just think about the week-long plowing and harrowing through giant papers and books written by our own professors, in whose sickening smell our hearing and sight dissipated…the school time consisted exclusively, for me, of the underlining, urged upon us, of sentences destroying the entire mutation-philosophical machinery…but we both remained, the whole time, clinging to our scientific bridge pillars, discovered by ourselves…With Walter it had not, as far as the Schoolish, Higher Schoolish was concerned, been any different…I’d had to spend an entire winter with the ‘Primärvorgang,’ with the ‘accessory substance, which, in the transport form of the chromosome, primarily appears as the so-called Hüllsubstanz (Matrix)’…and had to exist like this…had to exist in an outrageously precise manner…Walter in his 12-tone technique…but, pursuing a glorious inspiration, totally unconcerned about Higher Education and Higher Forced Education, w/ nothing more than our inherited ingenuity, in both Urgestein and in family at once, with the preference for illuminating, using nature, all crevices of our sinister edifice of thought, as soon as we allowed ourselves to transform, together, in our mutual sciences which seduced us, yes, left and flew high and away, the highest regions, we were over the mountains…The weekdays of our university time were a sad example of the Hochschule martyrdom, which we were unable to escape even a single time, subject to the paralyzing laws of the instruction world…Our university time had been as monotonous as all of its methods, which would inevitably destroy, extinguish us, who were accustomed to love and to attain the creative…But I also prefer not to remember the Sundays of our university time, they too, suppressed by us to no avail, were dominated by the weekdays…they dominated us like a deadly disease…In our inability to switch off our weekday martyrdom on Sundays, we in no way distinguished ourselves from the others…instead of fleeing the fallacious, the thick fallacious writings, we engrossed ourselves in them…it was only shortly before falling asleep, which, the older we became, succeeded, as an automatic practice, less and less often, and had not, even in our early childhood, always happened automatically anymore, that we both had the strength for a walk in the garden, along the Inn, through the city…We had never known the athletic breath of most of the students, university students, young men…we loved the pungent air on the banks of the Inn, the long cemetery visits at night…in the cemetery at the Anatomical Institute, in the cemetery at Mühlau…we became, as time went on, day to day due to Walter’s illness ever closer, often chained body to body in an unbearable way…Walter’s epilepsy dominated us…Not a step without Walter…no longer a thought without Walter…I’ve been his brother, been very consistent, when one knows what that means, all the way into the darkest corners of his fatal mind…I had no longer been alone in years…the university time a horrible sentence…End of February, 1 day before our mother’s and Walter’s seizures, each of which lasted several hours, we entered the building on Angerergasse for the last time ever…

Only a twilight condition still prevailed between Walter & me, in this twilight condition we existed alongside each other as if in and against the abused reason of our agreements: we only complied now…Our relationship wasn’t without hostility…yes, in reality, the repulsion, innate in us from nature, towards each other, was the source of our affection, our sibling commitment, our petrification…We lived in the greatest level of difficulty, in which 2 people who are painfully bound can bear to exist…we were both, on many days, as self-sedating as at all possible…that debilitated us as time went on…the high art of coming to ourselves with help, we had already mastered that early like no one else and were also able to develop it after the catastrophe…In the tower we had suddenly become fully aware of the darkness, within moments…of the stupidity of the possibilities…in the tower we had become aware of ourselves, so we looked, for the 1st time, from outside and inside, at ourselves…Rhythmically, in, even if torturous, celebration, we joined, after the death of our parents, in constant shyness of ourselves, of our own divination…the time we spent together was for us a time without a rest period…we continued it, always without pleasure, as if we ourselves had been our own capabilities for observation, pathetically…Subjected only to physics, not even harmony, we were our own misfortune…This process occurred much more deeply in Walter…We existed in contrasts, for example: if I was occupied with my natural science, Walter was dominated, hypothermic, overheated by his music…for Walter everything came from inside him…but for me not the slightest came from inside me…That alone would’ve been cause for the treatise “About us’…But also after the treatise, that which we were, are, will be, will remain in obscurity, everything always remains in obscurity…everything is always, is not…our simultaneity, characters, geometry…from bottom to top, in order to be higher under…We lived constantly, often imploringly, it’s true, in mutual aversion of our bodies…the physical nature, eccentric physical nature of Walter had been the eccentric physical nature of our mother, unfamiliar to me…My physical nature, that of our father…We have both, our entire lives, mediated between each other…Through Walter’s disease our aversion (towards each other) had become affection (for each other)…

During the past 3 weeks we ventured out…but didn’t dare go farther than just a few steps away from the tower…We conversed w/ the gardener and the orchard workers, who, because the time was favorable for it, pruned apple trees…they dug up a plot in the lower meadow, touched up both embankments…they all did their work thoroughly…we knew the older ones, newer ones were introduced to us…at 4, when I was awake, I already saw the light from their quarters too, on the side toward the circus…Their conversations concerned their work, which they, I could see, enjoyed (they had all been well recruited by our uncle, supervised well), their relatives, love relationships, income situations, unfulfillable desires…Since our uncle understood more about agriculture than all of them put together, they trusted him as a matter of course, without inner objection, obeyed him…each one did well working under our uncle…the people knew, naturally, about the catastrophe, that inhibited our exchanges w/ them…Nature, still continuing to dominate, already acquiring color, was our topic of conversation with them…they loved it when we spoke to them with their 1st names, when we showed ourselves to be intimate w/ their families and concerns…Our uncle’s business was one of the best in the whole Inn Valley and still is today, he’d even been able, in the last 2 decades, to expand it: as we heard, the workmen built a forester’s lodge for him in Aldrans, the place of our earliest childhood, the birthplace of our mother…the woods around Aldrans belong to him…for the summer he planned his own driveway to Rans…He has numerous friends and is a skilled Tyrolean regional politician…in the time span in which he was able to double his estate, our father had lost everything…Whatever we reflected on made us sad…
Twice we’ve eaten lunch with the orchard workers down in the shed, provided a whole ham leg, 2 bottles of wine…After that Walter demanded daily that I take him down to the shed, but the orchard workers were only in the orchard 4, 5 days, then they were relocated over to Aldrans…The old man who, early, set milk and bread in front of the tower door for us, was, besides our uncle, ‘the only person’…he was over 60, looked like 80…But we didn’t dare tell our uncle how lonely we both were in the tower, how great our need had eventually become after 5, 6 weeks for people…For our uncle had forbidden us from leaving the tower, and also from conversing with the workers, which we did during a time when we weren’t sure whether we’d be caught by him…Then we were abruptly informed by him that we could no longer procure the means which the medical specialist, who came out to Amras to visit us, demanded, and we had to go ourselves to the specialist in town in Innsbruck during his office hours…We refused the car provided for us by our uncle for the specialist visits and walked, as torturous as it was for us, each time to the city...no one can imagine what these specialist visits meant to us…

To Hollhof
Geeherter Herr, 3 days before Walter’s death, which has obscured everything for me, destroyed everything, we made our final specialist visit…already finished early with getting dressed, we had, wearing our boots because it had just rained 4 days nonstop, left our place shortly after 3:00, and because we feared being stared at by everyone on this overheated and, because there had been a market that day, overcrowded afternoon, had not taken the street right away on the shore of the Sill…we had, from our garden, gone into the garden bordering it and, painfully from one garden to the next and, in this way, again and again through gardens, through all of the apple orchards, actually forbidden to us, through the endless apple orchards of total strangers, not w/out the use of force, under jostling and cursing…directly, w/out detour, into the inner city…through Dreiheilingengasse, in which we, continually inflicting rebukes and lies on ourselves, entire episodes of irritations and depressions…beat our way through to Marktgraben Street, into the specialist’s office…
In the darkness which prevailed there, between the walls and on the stairs, doorways, sockets, window sills, on the balustrade -protrusions and –ornamentation, we tried to calm ourselves, and so to strengthen ourselves; but horrifying scenes also played out between us there above all…it was our most appalling day together…on the top stair step I had to, while being fully exhausted, wipe Walter’s saliva from my clothes, because in the pathological attitude toward and against me, he’d spit on me…he’d tried to punch me in the face…in the specialist’s waiting room on the epileptic’s chair, already described to you earlier, it was impossible for Walter, to a, for me, virtually annihilating degree, through his attacked cerebral matter, the humid afternoon weather, to recover from the exertion of stair climbing…Every one of our specialist visits involved this horrifying stair climb…sitting on the high epileptic’s chair, constructed as if for him and his most recently harrowing decay, with the numerous straps and chains, bolted also to the floor for all Innsbruck epileptics by, at the instructions of the specialist, a metal worker from Hötting, on which, primarily on the sides, the traces of numerous people in despair were clearly recognizable, he was always frightened when, very suddenly, the doctor’s office door was opened from inside and the instruction to enter the office was issued to the person waiting on the chair, not always the one waiting the longest…Walter always waited patiently until the girl called him in…I was occupied solely with the thought of whether I, already disfigured by sleeplessness, was currently, as I believed, located, with my poor Walter, on the 4th or only on the 3rd floor of the specialist’s building; this question had occupied me every time that I, here, in the first moments, was engaged in the first scientifically conducted, by myself, investigation of the waiting room patients, protecting, protecting and supporting my increasingly helpless brother, beside him, much more under him, heated by the prohibitive philosophical nature of our union…and I computed with the rigor of such a thought process the number of steps in the specialist’s building leading, respective to me, up or down, these iron constructions artistically contrary to their time, over and over and w/out, even for a moment, losing sight of the company of invalids present in the waiting room, at first still speechless, constantly absorbed in their ‘Tyrolean Epilepsy’…in a manner finally irritating me, heating my body from the inside out, I wrote in my mind, like numbers, the steps of the specialist’s building one after the other, to add them together…I multiplied and divided, meanwhile bonded with Walther through a quote which calmed him, appeased him (‘Then we’ll quietly go home across the farmyards of the Sill)…I calculated for myself the stair step count from the ground floor upwards, then again from this height (from which height, how high of a height?) down to the ground floor, without coming to a conclusion…finally, in the nerve-devastating carelessness of my mind, I believed that the office of the specialist and, which became apparent to me retrospectively, occultist, who had even made a name for himself outside of the country, was located on the 4th, if not even the 5th, on the 6th story of the specialist’s building…so I took it upon myself when leaving the specialist’s building, shouting at my reasoning now continually struggling only with the strange, the most insane, to take a look upward in order to determine on which floor the specialist was truly situated, or better, I told myself, I’ll count the stairs while descending, count them attentively, even more attentively, I thought, than the last time, when I, as always, as after every specialist visit, had miscounted…

To Hollhof
Geehrter Herr, as soon as my brother sat on the epileptic’s chair, I, as if being punished, beside him very often crouching like a dog, he calmed down…I touched his knees and his thighs…now & then I peered, without him noticing, into his child’s face, left alone criminal and bitter, only not yet muted into malice, by the world, yes, as I know, also by me…every time, w/out exception, I started thinking about the steps in the specialist’s building, about the insane location of the specialist’s office…it was always the same for me, the epileptic’s chair anyway: Walter sighed when he sat on it: “There, yes, my seat…!” The “There, yes, my seat…!”, repeated at every one of our specialist visits, relieved him…When, after the hours-long torture of the trip from Amras into Innsbruck, through the, for us, already estranged parentless city, we were suddenly in the waiting room, which, dark and windowless, w/out the possibility for air-circulation, allayed no one’s fears, decreased no one’s pain, Walter’s seat, the epileptic’s chair, was always free…I had to look after Walter…Many have already fallen off from the epileptic’s chair…
Walter had, from the beginning, resisted the tying, the chaining, the fastening of his body to the epileptic’s chair…when I once made the attempt, because I suddenly feared an eminent seizure, to fasten him to the epileptic’s chair, he slammed his knee in my face…Every act of assistance for Walter weakened me…I believed that through our, through my and Walter’s, on our burdensome trip leading from Amras to the specialist right through the brutal Innsbruck populace, suggestive willpower, always asserted with energetic force just a few hundred meters from the specialist’s building: my Walter, and from Walter, I, I need to, like always, sit on my epileptic’s chair, no one would actually dare to sit in the epileptic’s chair situated in the waiting room…as soon as I and my brother, as soon as we’re both on our way down through the gardens, wherever, and even still in the tower, in front of the Sill, I thought, and have the wish that the epileptic’s chair is still free, is for us, is for Walter…and our entire energy, not just physical energy, also my mental energy, all energies at my disposal, combined, also Walter’s energy, as soon as we both invest the whole of our energies into this wish and, to the same extent that we, often inflicting inconceivable pain on each other, draw near to each other, raise, yes overly raise this wish, Walther’s epileptic’s chair, I told myself, will be free, it will be there for him…When we entered, the patients in the waiting room were always silently frightened…after that more and more wildly talkative, sunken in their ignorance, as it seemed to me, of their morbid diseases…Why the building, one of the Secession-style, therefore so dismal looking Innsbruck inner city buildings, had no elevator like all others of its height and its age, like these many buildings perched tightly together, depressing the mountain city to the most fundamental imaginable of all fundamental levels of despair, made ridiculous, even unbearable by bay windows, leading and tempting everyone in short time to crime and vulgarity, was unclear to me this afternoon…also unclear was how the doctor can come up w/ the idea of having, in a 3rd, 4th, 5th, even 6th story inaccessible by elevator, an office, an epilepsy doctor…that the waiting room was over populated at all times of the day made everything yet more puzzling…on the 4 walls hung (hang), arranged in pairs one above another, the so- from us- called ‘epileptic pictures’, portraying men, women, children, foxes, cats, dogs during violent epileptic seizures…all possible forms of epilepsy…an entire row of the famous-notorious ‘Inn Valley animal- and child-epilepsy’, painted by Schlorhaufer…What’s important is, I told myself, I actually always tell myself that, that the specialist is a good specialist…

To Hollhof
Geehrter Herr, when my Walter had calmed down in the waiting room, I thought about the stroll I took down to the circus, to the yards of the Sill, Tantegert, etc., on the same afternoon, 2 hours before our specialist visit…I had left with many letters I’d written in the morning, the 1st letters in a long time…in them I noted my thanks for countless letters that we had received…Protecting myself from the confidingness, w/ which I was familiar, of the specialist patients, whose attention we nearly constantly aroused, I observed how the flies licked up the patients’ sweet exhalations off from the walls…Engraving to my memory a person who had entered before us, a girl who was, making the sight so sad, still not even out of school, already assailed with the melancholy of womanhood, silently brooding to herself, occupied w/ a 4 or 5 square-centimeter section of parquet floor, apparently however far away in a loneliness, occupied, clueless, w/ an estate, I walked, I, for whom in the most recent time (which, everywhere one can possibly imagine, is only out for destruction and death – our anxious fearful world is no longer capable of deceiving time and it’s machinery…wherever we look it collapses, everywhere and in everything and everyone, in the cities and in the country, in this time, which the people would have preferred, if it were possible, to have slept through during such long stretches of hopelessness), I walked, I, for whom, in the weeks after our catastrophe, before Walter’s death, nothing had become more morose and nothing more difficult than breathing, who for weeks at a time, though sleepless, was always forced to register every breath of my lungs, and for whom my breaths seemed more noisy, had become more forbidden than the breaths of others, then all unconscious, all unconscious breaths of youth and of health…in my own, mine alone, reconstruction of the afternoon now only escaping me, carried out by myself virtually with wonderful convulsions…I walked, as I saw through the patients, at a distance of 15, of 20 meters, through myself cleverly separate from everyone else, economizing with steps and with thoughts, so, as I had always loved to, alone w/ myself on the street which leads out of the gardens of Amras to Wilten, now already, in almost half a year, no longer traveled by me…led by smells and colors...a person suddenly focused only on departure and death, not even 20, hesitating forward, marveling backwards, with the tendency toward solicitude which resists, unsuccessfully, convulsions and disappointments, in the certainty of having to be ruined along with Walter...I'm going, I said to myself, to the post office...I'm walking, while Walter, gripped by the impending doctor visit, watches me from inside the tower, watches so long until he can only still watch me through the power of his fantasy...I'm walking under the bell jar of our feelings...futile attempt to quickly escape the hopelessness...with my head schooled in darkness, soldered to darkness, out of one extreme and into another...conflicts...continually sent deep via depth, led by the power of imagination...I pursued myself in these thoughts for a while...I suddenly reverted in these thoughts, in order to avoid having to suffocate...as into my life, I had run back, in these thoughts, inside myself...

To Hollhof
Geehrter Herr, today I'm sending you the selection, requested by you, of writings created by Walter in the tower, kept secret from me by him, found under our straw sacks by me.


Circus

Tightrope walker
I could suspend my world in her midst, if I hadn't been ruined by the sciences. I would've already been able, before she had come into question, to use her, misuse her for my theories, to lead her to conclusion. For which she, as I, lacked the reasoning...

Director
The moment says that the person is an artistic person. Every whiplash of the animal (leopard) by the director demeans the idea of 2 halves of the mind. The victorious – since nature is a law -- refuses to be subjected to truth. We adopt the point of view, the leopard's point of view.

A book about all the perceptions that I've made in the tower
A book about all the perceptions that I've made in the tower would naturally have to be a book about everything, about possiblity in its entirety. For this reason it's impossible to write a book about all perceptions that I've made in the tower.

The tragedy, the tragedy of tragedy, which has always only been an attempt at tragedy.

The vision of the burning circus tent inside the person
The vision of the burning circus tent inside the person makes, in most people, the roar of the lions and the ripping of the tiger’s nails seem exhilarating, the ability to simply switch the highlight of a circus program inside the human mind, trade balancing acts for magic tricks, the dressage act with the clowning…
(The death of the animal tamer is distressing, because the animal tamer isn’t immortal).

The clown and his assistant
The moment in which the clown appears w/ his assistant is for the moment, not for the clown and his assistant, deadly; but all moments are deadly for the clown and his assistant, therefore I can hear everything in this moment. Between the clown dressed in silver and the assistant dressed in red, everything is geared toward setting the viewers (for their money and for their sanity) in astonishment; a trick only for the human eye, for the naïve human disposition; everything millennia-old deadly tradition.

Every astonishing feat has its method, until we determine that the astonishing isn’t astonishing, has no method. The best places, on which fantasy performs. (there are only lead actors of supporting roles.)

The tightrope walker
The tightrope walker is famous, because he can leap while he’s on the rope, which is famous; we’re already seeing his leap for the 4th time, because a single leap wouldn’t be enough for anyone, for the curiosity of all people – at the director’s wishes the tightrope walker always makes 4 leaps, he abstains from the 5th because just one more would be a mistake; the time between 2 acts is just exactly enough for the tightrope walker, cheered by everyone, to collect precisely enough strength necessary to leap the 4 leaps ‘of such astonishing precision’.

To Hollhof
Geehrter Herr.,…on the chair next to the epileptic’s chair, on the chair beside, if it was open, behind the door, the faces, as I noticed, had switched: had there been, the whole time, seemingly incapable of movement, an old, thick one, I now recognized, I now registered, as Walter did too (who consisted of sensory perception surfaces so much more fine), a young thin one, there where a breeze, imperceptibly yes, but uninterruptedly, came in through the opening in the door…What interested me at the moment was the following: at the same time, therefore while I observed the young thin face, for me totally new, a country face, a country face created by generations of judges of faces, a hired help face created by millions of employerInnen, I saw myself…and did so again and again (now pressing Walter’s hand) on the road to Wilten, myself on the cemetery wall, myself under the door of the eating, drinking cemetery attendant, who debated with his wife…I saw myself studying the off-ramp of the saw mill that once belonged to us, the noise of the saws, the smell of rotted wood…As I looked at the country face, I saw myself on the hill from which you could, in a single gaze, see the whole, the paralyzing city Innsbruck…I saw myself in the forest, I saw myself in the potato field…the young thin face was, for me (while I saw myself), all young thick and consequently also all young thick and all old thin and old thick faces in one, all faces on the continually expanding and continually shrinking world: all human faces, existing, simultaneously, forever, changing, simultaneously, forever…on my stroll…with its short downpours refreshing everything, only not me…I saw myself, occupied with the ideas and with the ideas about ideas, the organs of inert and focused thoughts, theories, procedures, confronting myself…in this steamy afternoon, this humid, steamy afternoon, flowing forever…an unfathomable desertion on my part, as concerns my brother; I continually desert everything and everyone…I saw myself in the brutalized Innsbruck streets, forever turning back in the other direction when coming before the butchers’ houses, the writers’ houses, the actors’ houses, the court lawyer people’s houses…I continually turned back around…I saw myself escape the dearth of action of the city, the dearth of action of the world, the dearth of action of my brain…and again and again and again, behind the country face, the hired help face, the thin young face…the background of that on which I strolled…the foreground…I strolled and feigned for myself a stroll…I was no longer capable of strolling, I had feigned for myself my stroll to Wilten, feigned the entire afternoon, my entire misery, merely feigned our entire misery…I had proceeded inside myself with myself as if with myself as if in a bad novel…because a feigned stroll is no stroll, while it is, however, a stroll…appears only as a stroll, as the stroll of a stroll…I simulated thus my stroll this afternoon, in particular the feigned stroll of a stroll, which was no stroll, beside Walter, in the waiting room of the specialist…beside Walter, who had to wait an hour until the girl finally called him in, reluctantly called him in…And from a distance which was, for me, the best, observing every detail on myself, criticizing myself with ruthless sagacity, making myself ridiculous…I made myself ridiculous, I made everything ridiculous, everything (even Walter’s morning exhaustion, Walter’s afternoon nap, Walter’s feeling his way around the tower)…while I thus ran beside Walter in the waiting room through the avenue all the way to Wilten, sometimes strode, not ran, crept and strode, ran and crept, strode and ran, I merely made everything ridiculous…most of all though I made myself ridiculous, myself ridiculous through myself…insane, cruel, artificial…in the bewitched attempt to bring nature in harmony with my own ridiculousness, for myself…with my approach, suddenly again, also there, philosophical, on the apple avenue, in the waiting room, in my brain, in the brain of the brain…I’d been trained for such mental possibilities in nature through my misfortune, through the misfortune of all of us…the ridiculousness from which I then, running & jumping, hopping and, lightening quick, stopping, quite often in a puddle, momentarily soiling me from top to bottom, in my deranged emotional state…scarcely protected from the background nor the foreground, observed myself from my mind under ambush, had also to observe the ridiculousness of my portrayal (during which I continually corresponded with the background, with the upper ground as well as the underground of my portrayal…) as well as the observation of my portrayal…I was a monstrous quantity of existences, a monstrous quantity of ravaging existence possibilities, amounting to everything…the walking and the apparently walking, hopping, jumping, lightning-quick stopping, half insane…I have been all existing existences combined, I have been…but I had controlled myself on this final afternoon spent together with Walter as an affect, eventually an effect, perpetual, perpetually interrupting me, interrupting my suffering…all of these existences, which you can imagine: most highly possible, to me, tensions of symmetry…the crumbling then of my conceptual world, when I, after I’d dropped off the letters, had left the post office, finalized the reflections on my countless letters (letters of request, begging letters, mean letters, intelligent letters), gone back to Amras, the shortest, the absolute shortest way, through the blackness of the Lemmenwald. I still saw myself (in the specialist’s waiting room) beating paper scraps, rubber, newspaper pages (a piece of the Times!), wooden clubs out of the way…I eclipsed myself in the confused current of the air, in the currents coming from infinity into the Inn Valley. I felt that: nothing but spring air currents of immense world reason…the logarithms of fleeting celestial bodies…the circuitousness of conceptions in old age...I saw at the same time, along with the young thin patient’s face, all patients’ faces combined: all patients’ faces, assistants’ faces, specialists’ faces…all inventions and senses, excitements,
disappointments…as in a substation of all despair, I saw everything…During my entire life I’ve tried to free myself out from myself, out from Walter, out from our family, out from the many generations of our family, to free myself through bodily wisdom, wisdom of reason, unsuccessfully…out, always, from one chaos into another…always, I was supposed to die off along with the deadly diseases of Tyrol, with the deadly diseases of our family…so Walter has also died off from the many deadly diseases of Tyrol, of the deadly diseases of our family…for Walter everything had always been double torture, double energy, double heritage, excess, because of death…we 2 have both, our entire lives, stood at a disadvantage…always had to follow the nature within us…This afternoon the walls of the waiting room had constricted so much that I became afraid…constricted around me, constricted around us 2, around us 2 within us…In Walter’s face there had always been sorrows, this ALWAYS provoked by his too high intelligence, which only needed to make everything fluid…We both controlled the art of allusion like no other…we hated, despised everything spoken out loud, discussed to its conclusion…Yes, we were, as you know, enemies of prose, we found loquacious literature disgusting, the stupid narrative, above all the historical novel, the re-hashing of dates, historical coincidence, for instance Salammbô…We had never enjoyed stories…as in a death house, morgue, the disturbances, these disturbances of the human faces, had cleared away, and exceedingly obviously on this afternoon, from Walter’s face…there had been a necromancy, no longer perceptible in the slightest by the sciences, in his face, his child’s face, on this afternoon, which from the 1st moment on had been his last afternoon…I had, the entire time, among the numerous patients, thought solely about my stroll: Wilten, Sill, circus…Dogs, cats, doves, ducks, pheasants, about the strenuous subordinate suburban history makers…then the conversation between patients back behind, at the same time in front of me: the religious disturbance of equilibrium on the 5th (or on the 6th?) floor…I saw the Schwibbogen of our ancestors…I’m waiting here and going there…conforming to the laws of life, obeying, for better or worse subject to nature’s force of attraction, through the afternoon, which I love…

‘Sentences’ from Walter

Amras, March
With me, completely new surfaces, completely new circles, completely new rectangles have arisen, a completely new architecture has risen.

The silence of the brain…

The air pushes in and dissipates…

That, of which death would consist…

Everything rhythm: thinking mountains, thinking rivers…

My entire life: I don’t want to be me, I want to be, not be me…

In the classical portrayal, it’s the human that disturbs.

…that I make aware…

Reality in the gaps of truth.

Disease instigators: philosophical sophistries of death.

Treat the dead the same as life. Life like death.

I am the border, absconding, death.

Death is ultimately something for the higher mathematicians.

…so simple is death.

I stand in an ideal relationship to death.

The ideal king. The ideal is king.

The generation which venerates nothing.

The head which understands everything…and then dies.

A great plan out of fear…

The transitions are puzzling…

Daily question: why am I outside of myself?

In logic, (precisely) the connections lead to n(N)othing.

Births: introductions of superstition.

The verifiably non-human diseases within the person…

The insensitivity of nature…(Fahrenheit, Celsius etc…)


An actor
An actor appears on stage in a fairytale, in which he plays the role of the evil wizard…he is thrust into a sheepskin and a pair of much too tight shoes which squeeze his feet…no one notices that…he enjoys performing for children so much, because they’re the most thankful audience…The children, 300, are naturally frightened by his entrance, they’ve been totally won over by the young couple which the wizard changes, hexes into 2 animals (reptile-mammals)…They’d prefer to see the young couple, nothing else, but then the play wouldn’t be a good play, and a good play, a good fairy tale is the point…a good proper fairytale (play) requires a malicious (malevolent), impenetrable figure, whose has to, strives to destroy the transparent good or at least make it ridiculous. Now that the curtain goes up for the 2nd time (and the play takes its course), the children are no longer to be contained, they rush from their chairs and onto the stage, it’s as if it were no longer 300, but rather 3,000, as if it were 3 million…and though the actor as wizard under the mask of the wizard cries and begs them to please stop their punches and kicks, they aren’t persuaded and strike (with hard pointy objects, scissors and knives) him so long and stomp around on him so long, until he stops moving, until he is dead…when the other actors, who stand behind the stage waiting for their entrance, w/out having noticed anything about the tragedy in this fairy tale, come rushing by and realize that their fellow actor, their best, is the wizard, who is actor as wizard, the children who have killed him break into a tremendous laughter which is so large that, in it, everyone loses their mind…

In nature, nature portrays death in the future.

The natural, the mechanical in nature.

Art: life as infamy.

Religion via infinity, but…just as the ages have lapsed, so have the religions…

Distance is the shortest.

Bleakness in the person, bleakness in the person’s environment, bleakness…

Where so much of the world in us is destroyed.

The poetic, the perverse days.


DIARY
13th. The rain makes everything melancholy…Snow lays over 1,000, it’s cold, not heated, but it’s better to be in the tower…the dog had barked, had repeatedly rattled its chain, I had not been able to become accustomed to its stubborn warning; as if someone had climbed over the wall and was already down below among the apples. 14th. The garden workers are digging up a pit, 2 meters deep, 2 meters long, 80 cm wide…15th. The dog bit the child…17th. Our uncle was able to put through our parents’ funeral. The reading, not-reading of our books...The dog doesn’t obey. 18th. I don’t understand either, neither our uncle nor even the specialist…19th. I, Walter? A brother observes his brother constantly…21st. With closed windows, reading aloud is impossible. A few steps from the window: nothing…but our parents have called…The spiritual aspect of our parents…23rd. My misfortunate spring…The circus people visited, conversed w/ them, spoke about their illegitimate children, preparing corn on an open fire…the leopard that’s died…Our apples for the children, the pork lard for the animal tamer’s wounds…10 in a room sunk into deep sleep…CIRCUS WINTER QUARTERS, Novella title. 24th. Someone’s asking about me, whether I’m enrolled at the university, apparently the man from the chancery, and my brother’s saying ‘Of course…’. 26th. The fear of the knife of Philippine Welser…27th. A pig taught him to cry…(taught our uncle). 28th. A person actually dreams of a lifetime job in the brick factory, as I now know…In the afternoon, suddenly, the image before me of how my brother and I are driven to church in the sleigh, yelling to the coachman he should drive twice as fast as last time. 29th. I: a cut off tail as symbol for loyalty? He: who’s tail isn’t….I’m not interested in anything anymore, because I know what interest is, I no longer have interest…Is possible at 18, but what at 80? When every day, even if different, yet the same, is equally long…30th. Our life, ended at Herrengasse 6, our 2 existences, ended, discontinued at Herrengasse 6. 4th. Why parents? Children…Yesterday 2 seizures one right after the other. Apparently the parents say nothing to the children, the children nothing to the parents. 5th. The primitive immortality, what type of immortality otherwise…? Or: in an ice block through the world…6th. They poisoned the dog. A railway conductor with the brain of Montaigne? 7th. Your brilliance, which triumphs there. 12th. In what type of connection is the dog the dog of our uncle? Dunkle Nacht, welche vom Auge dessen Funktion nimmt…13th. A brother is a perpetual killjoy. 17th. Death bites, quite simply, into my soul and leaves me lying there. On the way home from the specialist, down in the forest, I always wait to be called, I know that it’s something evil that calls me. Don’t ask.

To Hollhof
Geehrter Herr, I can’t escape your inquiry: I saw the disorder in our tower, placed for us at our disposal by our uncle, I looked into the black kitchen, while I however looked at the half opened office door at the specialist’s…in the tower, in which the chaotic circumstances of a brother pair prevailed between mountains of books and hopelessness, abandoned by their parents, chained together until death, warped by sciences and dreams…On this, our last afternoon together, I had the feeling that my Walter mistrusted me…On the day before he had fallen down headfirst from his chair by the window and remained lying unconscious for 2 hours…Then we had, in the night, decided, instead of waiting until Tuesday, as planned, we would instead go on Friday, thus right the next day, to the specialist…Occasionally I recognized an actual deadly calm in Walter…I was terrified by this deadly calm (in Walter)…until the stethoscope then fell from the specialist behind the office door…The examination had, like the previous 27 (during our time in the tower), resulted in ‘nothing to be concerned about’…On this afternoon our uncle brought us back to the tower in his car…after he was gone Walter laid down, I went, because I couldn’t stand it in the tower anymore, to the orchard, immediately to the circus people…After an hour I came (to prepare dinner) back and found Walter, after I hadn’t been able to find him for some time, under me with smashed head, laying right under the open tower window; only around 2 in the morning did I run over to the inn to report what had suddenly happened…

To Hollhof
Geehrter Herr, my brother is, already in the 2nd week, the object of suspicion at the Medical Examiner’s Department. The body has to be examined, controlled one more time, after it had already been released, by 2 of the 3 Innsbruck prosectors (not by H.). An accident, but also a seizure, has been ruled out…If you could leave me the clock which my father, I believe in Mantua, gave you…A visit in Meran, for my part, is not possible.

To Hollhof
Geehrter Herr, it’s a case, now officially as well, of suicide; there exists a short note concerning this in Walter’s diary, which I found yesterday; I’m thinking about also sending you this diary, as well as the notebooks, which my brother, from his 13th year on, a final one in the tower, had filled, to leave them to you for your purposes. I only have a short time left in the tower.

To Hollhof
Geehrter Herr, my brother’s burial has finally, against the will of the Innsbruck church authorities, been put through after all; it took place on the 29th, 4am; besides my uncle, a woman who I didn’t know but who, according to her, was a close friend of our father, and the cemetery support staff, no one was present…no clergy in sight. My uncle immediately brought me to Aldrans, where he owns a large piece of woods and a forester’s house built just this summer and where I can, as I believe, be useful to him. It’s enough if you use ‘Forester’s house in Aldrans’, nothing else, as an address.

In Aldrans
The lumberjack comes down in the evening; at first I think, an animal…but then completely clearly, an animal which is a person, this person who is the lumberjack and who hides from me as if he were and animal…I myself hid, watched him, listened: he’s taking 3, 4 steps to the left, then to the right, but I can’t see anything except for his shadow, which is, at one point, below, then above; when he leaps, I leap too, when he looks out from behind the tree, I’ve already pulled my head back…

What kind of people (the Fräulein) are they, who live on the estate? they, who don’t live on the estate, ask, and those who live on the estate and walk through the forest and have gaiters (!) on, ask themselves: what kind of people are they, who don’t live on the estate? The ones always meet the others behind the cemetery, they don’t know how they should greet each other, if they should greet each other, because every greeting seems ridiculous to them…as if those who live on an estate and those who don’t live on an estate belonged to different terrestrial bodies…those who have gaiters on and those who have no gaiters on, claim to be in a world completely foreign to the other, to be of a different spirit…to be beyond simply existing…these afternoons are, for those who trudge through them, one of the greatest fallacies of all.

Basically what exists is only that which has tormented us and which torments us, exists only that which continually torments us (for us); that which has mislead us, who has mislead us…everything else, everyone else has, for us, never existed…no person who has never tormented me a single time and has mislead me…The greater the torment, which has been inflicted (from him) on me, the greater etc…Our mother caused us our greatest torment, her greatest torments, nothing but incessant torments down into the small and smallest details…precisely predicted (predicted by her) torments…

In Schladminger up to the larches, up to the tree line; a suffocated herd of deer under the avalanche; I immediately remembered the terrible roar after midnight.

The shadow of Walter, which explains to me the speed at which his figure travels, his face, already disappearing…his body, existing now only in its anguished painstaking movement attempts (Walter)…He comes into the tower and rushes immediately to the window…his figure, which then leaves behind nothing but figures, he, who suits none of these figures anymore…There is, however, no 1st and no last figure of the brother…no brother…Walter is. Where have you heard that before? Thought? That a hundred thousand, millions, billions of figures…death doesn’t interrupt…My relationship to Walter now: he takes off his shirt hundredfold, goes hundredfold into the black kitchen, lays on the straw sack…fears the Augsburg knife, hundredfold …but not hundredfold like its eternally…In Aldrans everything is connected to Walter.

The word crow and the crying of the crows and the plunging down of the crows and the black of the crows are everything that you perceive…The word crow is the past and the future, the present seasons…The word crow makes, like the plunging down of the crows etc, everything possible, impossible etc…For days the word crow makes (also in sleep, which is a half sleep) everything annihilated, it devastates everything, it extinguishes everything around you.

A coffin is carried past: the pastor walks behind the coffin, the sister of the deceased walks behind the coffin (behind the deceased), the bride of the deceased, the children of the deceased, the distant relatives of the deceased, whom they presume to be in the coffin, then the music.

Our year in Folkestone with its monthly visits to London has been our best one, as is now apparent; the study of a higher unclarity…


Aldrans 7th XI.
Dear uncle, I needed, after you brought me to Aldrans and were so quickly gone, 4 days to get used to myself, to me, who I am, to me, who I now, w/out Walter, am, have always, w/out Walter, been; I have just always believed that I was alone, I have never been alone…now for the 1st time I really am alone…
The house can be, strangely, since it’s just a few months old, heated well from top to bottom; I do everything myself; through the handwork I simply return to myself, suddenly my thoughts understand me…My food, my clothes, everything is my concern…Your people are trustful, yet they avoid me, there is, for them, something about me now that they’re afraid of. Maybe they’re making accusations against me now…they’re all good, I observe them when they work, eat, chat, above all I observe their relationship to you, to their boss who, as they say, lately seldom comes to them; I think that it’s a good relationship.
Listen: the oldest and the youngest of your lumberjacks sleep, not only at night, with each other…it not unnatural (yes, unnatural like nature), no, but since there are also others in the sleeping quarters, I think you should transfer the old one up to the larches…
The card game distracts me, the many different possibilities of the card game, of the most beautiful of human games, it provides me with, though dangerous in the long run, repose.
My calculations regarding the lumber add up… I enjoy my new activity…The exhaustion which, now already at 8:00, 8:30, causes me to fall into bed when the others do, is not the exhaustion of my most recent years…Hollhof is also still interested in us, but I scarcely write him anything useful, and even then only out of duty, which I have, because he’s been a friend of our father…
It is often frighteningly quiet in the forester’s house. Still far from studying the, for me, new nature, I’m beginning to make discoveries, which have been long forgotten (for example, geometry of crystals), from my childhood again…As for reading, I’m missing the book "On Primitive Rock” by Bergonzi; I’d like to take up Seume, would like to read “Moby Dick”, then Descartes…Bring along, when you come up, 2 crates of beer, a liter of petroleum and a padlock for the shed.

The awareness that you’re nothing more than a fragment, that short and longer and longest times are nothing more than fragments…that the duration of cities and countries are nothing more than fragments…and the earth a fragment…that the entirety of development is fragment…is not completeness…that the fragments have arisen and arise…no away, only arrivals…that the end is w/out awareness…that, then, nothing without you and, hence, nothing, is…

The people who die, w/out having known their disease, their deadly diseases…Walter’s disease, the disease of our mother…the mystery surrounding our ‘Tyrolean epilepsy’…nobody perceives their deadly disease…life would be unbearable then, nothing more than an oenothera lamarckiana.
…everything a question of the absolute shortest time, not of the temperament…in which: I can remember, I’ve failed, then as today.

Grandissimi fiumi corron sotto terra

On Herrengasse the room in which the theater costumes were hung: Pantalone, Columbine…Our tragedies, comedies, plays…Bavarian-Italian…how gladly I would have been in the attic with the costumes, but I’ve been forbidden to enter ‘our’ house…Our uncle had, ‘for good reason’, not bid on it…

As if the lumberjacks alone had a right to the landscape…and I didn’t have a right to it…If I told them what I’m totally not capable of…no right at all, really?

…if I, by my own decision, leave them…

Our father, an unhappy person like our mother, only through our mother; through our mother then the family…when Meran was still the capital, I could say…trade, academic degrees, a certain secular Kirchenfürstlichkeit…in the company of people generously grand-inquisitor-ish…Coaches, saddle horses, hunts with the Primus Germaniae…the many artists at home in the summer, disrespected by us…The artists, pathetic people (father)…Excesses, break w/ the Church, war…in connection w/ our grandfathers the names Cattaro, Solferino, Pontebba, Venedig, Riva, Monte Cimone…Our father often used the word London; he hated Paris… ‘The misfortune into which we have been plunged’ (father)

Everything crammed together into a few commemorative lines at the Wilten cemetery.


La vita bene spesa lunga è

Aldrans, 18th XI.
Dear uncle, today I received a bill from the medical specialist for over 45,000 schillings, which to verify, then liquidize, from the account in Flirsch, I’m …and also for the correct name of the lady who had been at the funeral and who you, as you say, still know from Padua, cordially asking you…

On totally normal days our father had them harness up…in the landau, converted for winter, across the frozen Lake Achen…the horses were barely able to fasten onto the ice surface…sometimes I wake up, because I had, for hours, the hammering of their, at first, helpless, then suddenly raging strong hoofs in my ear…

‘If one can still also manage a cook and caretaker and gardener and a 21-year-long sick wife…(Lugger).

I’ll secretly, I thought already in earliest childhood, leave the world…I alone, of all of them, have remained.

I could’ve also pursued a completely different development w/out Walter…it’s not correct, when I’m there, it’s also not correct, when I’m here…With the crossing of the (invisible) border, everything is lost…Beause I, then, do take sides…

To Herr L.T. in Rum
Verehrter Herr, in your possession, originating from our estate at Herrengasse 6 in Innsbruck, there are also numerous piano compendiums of my deceased brother Walter, also, as I know, such with Michael Haydn’s signature, above all a, to me, most valuable one of Mozart’s ‘Titus’; also an exemplar of ‘Zaide.’ Most of all I’m interested in reacquiring our Hofhaymer edition, and I ask you to indicate to me on which basis a negotiation between us, regarding the stated, as well as the other items from my brother’s collection consigned to you by the local court, could be considered…

On the way back to the forester’s house it occurs to me how nice it is to have no more rights at all…and, in this thought, I walk for some time in a circle.

Everyone looks at me like the poacher from last week; as children, the most creepy thing for us had probably been a person of whom has been said that he’s a poacher, an unauthorized hunter.

Finally, you think, finally – right after that (after 2 hours of complete seclusion): you may not address someone who’s kneeing…and continue on…


Aldrans 27th XI.
Dear uncle, O. has gone, at 4:00, up to the larches, not even unwillingly, he doesn’t know why you transferred him…the boy doesn’t understand…his injury, the boil, breaks open, because we’re now working so intensely w/ the wood, daily…Yesterday a huge repair of the scale, which we did ourselves…the stream is blocked closed, and I can go, without detour, past power plant to the pasture: 2, always the same Hirschkühe. Our case before the Innsbruck juvenile court is supposed to proceed against me alone now, not before spring…

In Hall a woman supposedly said before the court that she is related to us, and stated quite a bit of untrue information about us.

As a child, dragged together on a single day 3 dozen frozen deer in a hollow, covered with brushwood…laid myself down, crying and freezing, beside the dead animal bodies, without freezing to death…

The wounds which the old lumberjack inflicted on the young one always hurt the young one the most ‘terribly’ when the old one enters, in reality, the young one’s place, enters his brain, the courtyard, open toward all sides, of his brain.

The stream is blocked shut, spring is closed, summer is closed, winter is closed, people, animals, feelings, everything…the spoken word, which simply closes the world.

You open a door, a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, you close them all again behind you and walk forward (continually returning vision of Walter)…you keep on opening doors, finally they slam closed behind you and crush you each time…

Batteranno il grano

On the milk table in front of the road that branches off into the city, the lumberjack is crouching, fallen asleep drunk…so, he’s ventured down from the larches…I lead him halfway back up to the larches…Dragging logs has made him a cripple, he says.

A long look at the dead crow in front of my window.

A branch quickly whipping back frightens you…for days, pain in the site which is, for you, the deadly one.

The ‘Tyrolean Nachrichten’ writes: ‘…who last winter committed suicide…had been renowned…have been transferred…creditors…excesses…luxury…intelligent sons…who died of the epilepsy of his mother…’etc’…who was enrolled in scientific courses at the university…’ (still is).

The mountains are against the people; the cruelty with which the high mountains repress people…the methods of horror of the rocks advanced forward into people’s brains.

No alibi when you cocoon yourself up like them, wear their coats, their pants, put on their hats…mittens, bonnets…become accustomed to their walk…they continually implicate you in contradictions…

Every year a person who’s drowned in the stream, whose high boots protrude out from the water.

Burned out, frozen, with the head welded to the sky, sentenced to walk…

‘Ach’ said the woman, ‘let’s take a walk into the cemetery, weren’t we also at the cemetery last Tuesday?…at the uncle’s family graves’…We walk through the gate and then swing off left toward the graves, she says: ‘I’ve always enjoyed walking in the cemetery.’ She’d always been, with her grandmother, in all cemeteries which were ‘within reach’…her grandmother had been an actress, wife of a large game hunter, Africa scholar…Both of us say, during the 2 hours which we spend reading off names, nothing…then, when we’re already on the road to the estate: “If I were to die, here, imagine, if I were to die here…’ So, if she were to die 800 kilometers from home…

To Herr L.T. in Rum
Your letter has destroyed my most beautiful hope; so, the ‘items, priceless in all respects’, are lost for me, since you are one of the dreadful, cruel connoisseurs of old music manuscripts.

No road remains other than the road to the cemetery; with or w/out a book in hand…I think: the deep meaning of the cemeteries and the world outside the cemeteries; the immeasurable count of dead people…the many young-girl diseases laid in repose…dead boys, men, victims of leukemia…at the touch of the black lips of the blue boy in the bedroom of our garden…the sensation that the corpse of the deceased gravedigger, falling out of the hearse, has made…the sudden seeping away and drying up of the superficial spoken expressions…the cemetery, also Walter’s favorite spot during childhood…the humming of the bees at the cemetery, the colliding of the flies in the morgue…the fountain which flows continually, and the wreaths which continually wilt…
A stretch of the way up to the larches with the stranger; as if he lured me into a, for me, new, mysterious trap: the upward traveling of his face and me next to each other…with the sudden voice which didn’t match his body...and the idea that the man has nothing on under the sheepskin…

…most people hope for themselves a sudden, surprising, surprising them, painless death…End of all excesses…

What do you do when you, you who are humiliated, die…

From the dead often remain only their, closely related to us, urine smell, which bites in the nose…the urine smell of the men in the forester’s house reminds me of particular dead people from childhood…of the landscape evoked through them …the steep cliffs, deformed in the night by predator paws of the Föhn...

The road worker is found dead on the road,…they carry him into the hallway and then lay him on the bed; I help out undressing, washing, dressing him again…a large doll wearing a leather suit…leather long boots in the candlelight…the glassy face of the road worker…we drink, next to his death bed, both lumberjacks and I, all his schnapps; I drink 2 glasses, then I notice the blood out of his left ear…A long warm corpse; we eat pieces of bacon w/ the schnapps; outside in front of the door the pastor asks whether the road worker has already been washed; I say ‘Yes, the road worker is washed, we washed him…’ – ‘Good,’ the pastor says and comes inside; the 2 freezing acolytes fold the road worker’s hands.

Continually mislead into memory, into memory of memory.

Odor, hallway; he slowly becomes outsider…the young lumberjack, who is soon the old lumberjack…Lumberjacks, heirlooms of numerate generations…he supposedly ‘suddenly felt warm in his foot…’ The wound isn’t healing; Aldrans is a long way from medical science; blood poisoning without the slightest medical skills available…but anyone can, if he dares, cut into the leg and let the blood flow out…the traveler through Aldrans doesn’t see any lumberjacks, only lumberjack attire, lumberjack caps, lumberjack footprints…

Seen, in half sleep, the garden workers who carry Walter (‘The beautiful dead person’ [L.]) over, how they, among the apple trees, shoulder the corpse…the circus people were knelt along the garden fence…

I walk out ahead, I try to hold the underbrush aside in the forest for the young woman…she is totally scratched up…pulls me by the shirtsleeve out from the young forest and shoves me in among the spruce branches…I want to follow her, but she’s walking in a zigzag…I hide myself, she hides herself…I call, she doesn’t answer, she calls, I don’t answer…In the manor she shows me her room…the entire large house warm…I ponder her upbringing…an estate past, estate odors, horse odors, apple odors like in the tower…she uses a mocking Sie toward me; to her father in the hallway she says; ‘He (I) injured his knee, in the young forest’; she’s afraid, every time, to speak the word ‘Türkenschanzpark’…she had, as she says, ‘grown up in Türkenschanzpark’…She constantly says: ‘too bad about the morning…too bad about the afternoon…too bad about the emerging evening…’ Once, in the hallway: ‘The multitude is becoming incredibly dumb…’ – ‘So what was your brother like?’ twice, ‘your mother, the poor woman’, three times; she gets bored in nature.

Also my clothes emit, slowly, the characteristic odor of Aldrans, my shoes etc…The most conspicuous foreign body in Aldrans is, besides me, I; people can’t, by looking at me, determine who I am, what I am, how I am…I can’t, by looking at anyone, determine how they are…or where they come from…What sorts of possibilities are suddenly opened by a word like the word Constantinople, which I speak into a few people who still have never heard this word, like the word Afghanistan, the word monomania, the word aphasia, the word plastidom…I also say, to our lumberjacks, Bosporus, and they’re afraid.

Prockerhof, Prandlhof, Gaßlhof, Starkenhof, Taxerhof…Sistrnas, Ampaß, Ampaß, Sistrans…and always, for dinner, to prepare dinner, back to Aldrans.

To Hollhof
Geehrter Herr, your paper has inspired in me the desire to read other papers you’ve written; how did you come to The Reflexivity of the Brain? Not the slightest perplexity in your thoughts, that caused me, as one can imagine, to capitulate.

A meeting in person with Hollhof would be unbearable to me…Most of all to have to hear what he knows about our father…and to have to suffer from the injuries caused by that, then, in front of Hollhof, not be able to escape them…the openings which I can imagine…

Walter’s birthday without even the slightest thought of Walter…when Walter was alive: weeks-long preparations, aftereffects of his birthday.

On anatomy: yesterday, in a dream, I slaughtered an object, alternately pig/person, for myself…as pig it (my uncle) rushed away from me through the garden…I caught up w/ it and pulled it by both ears back through the garden, dragged it onto the slaughter table…the entire garden (in Amras) full of blood spatters…After the last screech let out by the object (as pig), it has suddenly (as person) become calm; the clashing of the full Blutampers throughout the night…Cause: the slaughter which took place on the 22nd.

With Walter on the horse carriage (in the winter on the horse sleigh) with the fresh milk at 5 in the morning from the inn in Aldrans down to the milk table in Rans; back again with the pig feed, then: the abundantly set breakfast table outdoors…the first morning view of the Hafelekar peak…

Senseless idea of a Christmas Eve without parents and brother, without Walter’s reading of the biblical Christmas story, without us…A letter from Schwaz in Tyrol, in which I’m summoned to pay 18,000 schillings, which my father owes to a horse trader (and cement manufacturer) there.

Death, appearing in so many forms that one shivers, and making all possible suggestions to everyone…Death, coming up from the train station, coming over from Wilten, climbing down from the larches, from the air, residing at the forester’s house…

Death, continually brought into relation with a particular number relating to me…with the gravity of the moment.

Because nothing happens…constant touching, feeling of bodies long since cold, brains long since cold, solidified nerve centers, petrified cacophonies of the body.

Mountains, resistances, creators of destructive decades…your prospective suicide entitlement continually ignoring you.

The study and carry-over of a large portion of Walter’s thoughts, which are your thoughts; the culpable of our depressions…

In the evening through Aldrans…no people…I call, no one hears me…out of fear I converse w/ my echo which I create…so, nothing, with the voice which belongs to me but isn’t heard, inspires confidence.


Stams 21st XII.
Our existence, there’s no doubt about this, has been generated by this Tyrolean landscape and atmosphere, the phlogistic landscape and atmosphere, corroding the more delicate nervous systems, brain systems…Constantly feeling, we had been, frightened at ourselves, products of the perilous inhalation of the Tyrolean hydrogen…slowly killed by the confluence of creation-adverse bodies…We were imploringly constantly led astray w/out the knowledge of the organs of the bodies of cold nature…We were led solely by meteorological effects, sudden weather changes, rise in temperature, fall in temperature…Victims of constant incisions, incitation, irritabilities, a millennia-long unhealthy caloric, Europe’s unreliable barometric column.
Children of the cliffs and gorges, of the pornography of nature, we have always lived solely in the ominous, prophecy-mad chemistry of the Tyrolean Alps, every one of us as divining rod for misfortune, a hygrometer, a health indicator between Hafelekar and Patscherkofel…
…even as children we already existed in a constant fear of strokes, in harrowing earthquake anxiety, fear of houses collapsing, rabies, in constant fear of being slain, run over…We only ventured, under the protection of our, in childhood, extremely large obliviousness of nature, under trees, under bay windows and eaves…We were never with the others, like them, up on the mountains, on the rock walls, glaciers and peaks…out of fear of plunging down, of having to freeze to death.
Every departure from ourselves, from our parents’ house, had only been possible for us with pain…out of fear of injuries…The truth is that we, our entire lives, always only feared, our parents had developed a tremendous fear in us…this fear had, over the course of time, with the deadly disease of our mother, with Walter’s deadly disease, extended deeper and deeper into us, then, within us, into ever new regions of, above all, as regards Walter, me, my existence provoked by him, physical, into our emotional, into our, relative to each other, so different intellectual characters…soon we had, over time, fear of opening our books, our papers and letters, of going into the dark unventilated churches of the philosophies, fear of the enormous dynalogies of cathedrals…Fear of the trap doors in philosophical halls, scientific mills and saw mills…As children the opening of doors and windows had already caused us impaired balance, headache and fainting…later that had often happened to us when flipping a page in a book…with how much greater ordeal for Walter…We had, from our first thoughts on, always lived in an intellectual high mountain inbreeding, introduced into us by our parents; on the altars, erected by them everywhere, we sacrificed our most beautiful capacities…but also our parents had, of course, always been products of the dreadful Tyrolean oxidations, terrifying bowels of the Oberinn Valley, arisen over millions of years, as if for them (as if for us), the unwitting, addicted to death…They too had to spend their life reading our criminal code of Tyrol…thus the possibility was taken from them of extensively studying, with the virtue of the scientist not born for acquiring deadly disease, this, for them, hereditary Tyrolean surface of earth which perpetually froze and scorched them…the beauty of Tyrol had also not been possible for them…we had only lived in it to suffocate, disposed of our lives in it…if we had had progeny, they too, having come from us, would have suffocated in it…We were, early on, already rejected by everything, looking for refuge, always, throughout life, just locked in our, all of our hylozoism; which obscured and eclipsed, naturally consistently, most devastatingly during our academic years, our relationship to the external environment; has eclipsed it for me up to today…We, Walter and I, had always been deceived; in unforgiving air formations, in a patriarchal deadly galvanism, abrasive to humans, generated by the perfidious heights and depths of its architectural nature…How many of our talents we would’ve been about to develop within ourselves to astonishing extent had we not been born and grown up in Tyrol.

A long time in my room, in which I can no longer feel myself, reflecting, as a backdrop to the lumberjack, first drunk, then sleeping, in sleep talking, calling women’s names, tool names, names of trees, names of children, descriptions of articles of clothing and leather, dreaming in lewdnesses, on the labyrinthine nature of my science, about its own scientific nature…How, within it and outside of it and within me, the many, the thousands, thousands upon thousands of depictions, torpidities, constantly change for themselves, how from the one (often quite depraved) have arisen the others…the incessant tradescantia, bellevalia, oenthera and drosophila…Crepis capillaries, epilobium…Colchicin, datura stramonium, citrus maximus…the half chromatid translocation verified by me, reversion mutations, lethal mutations…
and now more araucaria, podocarpus, ginkgo, oxalis, myrtillus and calluna, the querceto-fagetea, the betoleto-pinetea, the alnetea glutinosae…primary and secondary types…tertiary types…the treeless Dryas period, the Last Glacial Period, the Late Glacial Period, sub-borealikum…

To Nicolussi, Professor of Natural Science at Innsbruck
Verehrter Herr Professor, our tragedy has probably precipitated, forever, a separation, in a dreadful way, I must say, of my person from Innsbruck and therefore also an ultimate separation from you and your science, for which I’ve already been lost. My thoughts are incapable, are no longer thoughts, nor are my feelings…The dismal time, during which I, obeying the rules, have had to spend months in our lecture halls, was followed suddenly by a time more dismal than any…I no longer studied anything, I walk, with completely destroyed equilibrium, though a forest of suffocated experiences, deadly references of the intellect, everything is dead, all books are dead, I’m only still breathing in a dead air now…How many countless times have I, now that I suddenly observe myself within myself with the greatest, to me, possible human composure, killed myself already…I thank you for your often impolite placation of my thought…for the instruction which you afforded me, often late into the night, high above the depressing dismal city, in your, as you always said, ‘metaphysical’ house.

To Ratteis, Botanist at Partschins
Verehrter Heer, the time during which you taught me, in all privacy and with patience, not only botany, the time of my greatest inclination toward your art and toward your personality, to which, as I know now, the state of Tyrol owns so much thanks, not only the natural sciences…has been my most wonderful, my most successful, my most valuable time. Nothing exists for me now other than the hollow, the sad burden of my fellow humans; I no longer sense the magic of the theoretical…My questions to you have now, and, in particular, especially during the night, often in a horrifying manner, reverted back to me…You made many things, which, already back then on the Brandjoch, on our first meeting, later destroyed me, clear to me.

Aldrans: see that nothing more is left of you…to have to say nothing more about the double suffering…

On the way into the forester’s house you discover that your despair has only been a concept of despair. You’ve always been afraid that they’ll exclude you from their card game…have excluded you yesterday.

To Hollhof
Geehrter Herr, I can’t follow up on your invitation to come to your estate in Kaltern. The clock, for which I thank you sincerely, is a gift to my father from the paternal grandmother of my mother and from the property of the Fuggers…I thank you and bid goodbye.

The crow, disturbing me with its attention, frozen, which I thrust through the air lighting quick with the tip of my stick.

Walter’s readings, Walter’s desperations.

Schermberg, 11th February
Dear uncle, 8 weeks ago I left Aldrans and also Tyrol; if any person, you understand me…that I have suddenly, w/out the possibility of even the slightest Tyrolean existence, hurt you so deeply…
…forgive me and forgive me for Walter too…even being together with the workers has, in the end, become nothing more than misery for me; the mere sight of these people…
…if I have, in the forester’s house, and if only in the most ridiculous way, been useful to you.
…now I also have a bit of skills in woodwork.
…presumably in safety, to make the attempt to rectify my impropriety.
I don’t want to give up my studies, in the future just conduct them within myself…conditions humiliating all of us abound in our mental institutions.