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text DESCRIPTION OF A PICTURE/ EXPLOSION OF A MEMORY Heiner Muller Translated from the German by Carl Weber A landscape between steppe and savannah, the sky a Prussian blue, two colossal clouds float in it as if they're held together by wire skeletons, in any case of unknown construction, the left larger one could be an inflated rubber animal from an amusement park that has torn itself from its string, or a chunk of Antarctica flying home, at the horizon a flat mountain range, on the right in the landscape a tree, at closer look there are three trees of different height, mushroom-shaped, trunk next to trunk, perhaps grown from one root, the house in the foreground prefabricated rather than built by craftsmen, probably of concrete: a window, a door, the roof hidden by the foliage of a tree that stands before the house overgrowing it, it's of a different species than the clump of trees in the background, its fruits are obviously edible, or fit for poisoning visitors, a glass bowl on a garden table, still half in the shade of the tree top, contains six or seven available samples of the citrus-like fruit, from the table's position-a crude piece of handiwork, the crosslegs made of young birch trunks-It can be concluded that at the moment of the picture the sun, or whatever sheds light on this region, is at the Zenith, perhaps THE SUN always is there, and TO ETERNITY : that it moves isn't to be verified from the picture, the clouds too, if they are clouds, may float at one spot, the wire skeleton their fastening to the spottily blue board with the arbitrary destination SKY, a bird is sitting on a branch, the foliage hides his identity, he could be a vulture or a peacock or a vulture with a peacock's head, gaze and beak pointed toward a woman who dominates the right half of the picture, her head divides the mountain range, the face is soft, very young, the nose too long, with a swelling at its root, caused perhaps by the blow of a fist, her gaze fixed on the ground as if it cannot forget an image or refuses to see another one, the hair long and stringy, blond or a whitish gray, the harsh light allows no distinction, her clothing a torn furcoat cut for much broader shoulders on top of a thread106 bare flimsy shirt, probably of linen, from the right sleeve that's too wide and at one spot badly frayed a brittle forearm lifts a hand to the level of the heart, viz. the left breast, a gesture of defense or from the deafmutes' language, the defense intended for a familiar terror, the blow thrust stab has occurred, the shot been fired, the wound stopped bleeding, the repeat will hit a void where fear has no place, the woman's face becomes legible if the second assumption is correct, a rat's face, an angel of rodents, the jaws grinding carcasses of words and the waste of language, the left coat sleeve hangs in tatters, as after an accident or an attack by something fanged , beast or machine, it's peculiar that the arm hasn't been injured, or are the brown stains on the sleeve congealed blood, is the gesture of the longfingered right hand intended for a pain in the left shoulder, is the arm hanging so limply in its sleeve because it is broken or disabled by a flesh wound, the arm is cut off at the wrist by the picture's border, the hand could be a claw, a stump (perhaps crusted with blood), or a hook, the woman stands in a void, being amputated above her knees by the picture's border, or does she sprout from the ground as the man steps from the house and will vanish into It again as the man Into the house, until the one perpetual movement sets in that will burst the frame, the flight raining the machinery of roots, clods of soil, and ground water, visible between glimpse and glimpse when the eye HAVING SEEN IT ALL...


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pp. 106-110
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