Christian Morgenstern within the Frankfurt anthology | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

In the “Gleanings on Gallows Poetry” you will discover Christian Morgenstern’s little poem in seven stanzas. The macabre-humorous founding of the artists' affiliation “Galgenbund” in April 1895 was primarily based on the concept that it was about “the unscrupulous freedom of the excluded: you see the world differently from the gallows and you see different things than others,” because the poet in writes an accompanying textual content. Many of the texts first printed in 1905 are positioned not solely on the fragile border between humor and seriousness, but in addition on the no much less susceptible border between life and loss of life, and have been printed in 13 editions till the creator's premature loss of life in 1914. “The Monument Wish” solely appeared in 1916 within the quantity “Palma Kunkel”.

Instead of the hope of securing one's personal reminiscence, the poem and its lyrical self play out an idiosyncratic concept: What is desired is a monument made from sugar within the sea that might briefly create a freshwater lake. The fish drink from it, which in flip is eaten by individuals as meals, in order that the deceased can return “in a good way” to the circles of the dwelling.

Finitude, seen from the standpoint of infinity

Is it a parodic transcription of Nietzsche's concept of ​​the everlasting return of the identical, of which Morgenstern was one of many admiring readers within the years earlier than 1900? In the final years of his life, Morgenstern not solely approached the mysticism, but in addition the anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner, to whom he devoted the final quantity of poems “We Found a Path” from 1914. This poem was regarded as near the idea of reincarnation. But the considered Hamlet's reflection within the cemetery, shortly after Yorick's cranium was dug up, can also be apparent: “Alexander died, Alexander was buried. Alexander turned into dust; the dust is earth; out of earth we make clay: and why should one not stuff a barrel of beer with the clay into which it was transformed?”

Ultimately, nevertheless, it’s the creator himself who supplies info together with his “Thoughts on a Philosophy of Humor” recorded in 1907: “I define humor as the way of looking at the finite from the standpoint of the infinite. . . Humor is therefore the highest, but also the most difficult of all ways of looking at the world; because it teaches us to see the deepest suffering and misery only as a phase which, taken out of the context of world life, does not allow for an absolute assessment on its own.”

In this manner, Morgenstern brings into view a relativity of finiteness, which opens up a perspective on the circle of life: While a monument made from stone and ore can be extra seemingly for a chicken to perch on it or for an individual to jot down his joke – round to think about nothing worse – emptied of it, what stays is the inscription into the cycle of metabolism – “the good way” – a imaginative and prescient of virtually joyful science that bears witness to the nice chain of being.

The basic ambition to supply one thing extra everlasting than brass within the poetry of the fleeting phrase is sarcastically undermined by the truth that the poem, in its written kind, however performs out the fantasy of the creator's downfall. Morgenstern might have seen this confirmed by Robert Musil's reflections from his “Bequest during his lifetime,” which states: “The most striking thing about monuments is that you don't notice them. There is nothing in the world that is as invisible as monuments.” Materialism and idealism are introduced collectively in a convincing means in Morgenstern's “Monument Wish” through the use of humor to look one's personal transience within the face.