[Reading] ➿ Bergfahrt By Ludwig Hohl – Uroturk.info

Bergfahrt Twee mannen, klimmend, twee heel verschillende mannen, heel verschillend in dat klimmen.Een fascinerend verhaal en ongelofelijke beschrijvingen van de berg, de bergen, gletsjers, seracs, natuurschoon, bijna over de kunst van het klimmen.Een aanrader voor liefhebbers van prachtige, meanderende beschrijvingen van natuur, waarbij de mens de personages nog amper zichtbaar zijn.http cobra.be cm cobra boek 1.1987257 The Opposite of Modernist FragmentationSome years ago George Steiner named Ludwig Hohl as one of the greatest 20th century authors Die Notizien is his central work it is 900 pages long and still untranslated I read this to get a sense of him, but it seems to be a singular piece, by which he can t be judged Steiner s judgment, which is widely repeated on the internet, is that Hohl is one of the secret masters of twentieth century prose a voyeur into the nuances and tremors of sensibility Hohl experienced physical and psychological phenomena as interminably fragmented with disenchanted scruple, he fitted these fragments into a language mosaic of exceptional lucidity He wrote, according to Steiner, from a literal underground, from a cellarage or below street level cavern in Geneva There, the teeming notes and aphorisms that constitute his opus Die Notizen in an always provisional, mobile array, were hung on clothes lines for inspection and revision Steiner, Grammars of Creation, p 224 I haven t yet read Die Notizien, but if Steiner s report is accurate by which I mean, not overdetermined by his worshipful attitude to isolated genius , then The Ascent must have been a kind of counterbalance for Hohl It is absolutely unified, with a crystalline structure supported by polished set pieces of naturalistic description The Ascent is an extremely carefully written realist story of two mountaineers, with a simple character puzzle drawn like a moral at the end Its descriptions of mountain phenomena seracs, couloirs, a Bergschrund are patient, rational, even architectonic, and its characterizations of the two mountaineers are spare and schematic.It s hard to see how this is a modernist s text it could have been written by Georg Simmel or even Adalbert Stifter, and its roots go back to Buechner s Lenz I am hoping that Die Notizien is this novella s sprawling and uncommunicative opposite. Two Young Men With Very Different Personalities Set Out To Climb A Mountain Ull, Decisive And Competent, Has His Eye On The Goal The Summit Johann, Irresolute, Is Just Along For The Climb After Several Setbacks, He Gives Up And Turns Back Ull Continues On Despite Near Impossibility Of Summiting Alone, And Ignoring All Warnings Signs Determined To Reach The Summit In Defiance Of His Friend This short chronicle of a death foretold narrates a hazardous climb on a high unnamed Alpine peak in a time when detailed route descriptions, low weight apparel and mobile phone were not there to help mountaineers to keep the risks in check But no technology can protect against hubris, stupidity and naivet And the ineluctable consequences of this unholy trio is the key theme of this novel Two friends move in on an ambitious route in the early summer season There is still plenty of snow on the high slopes The two know each other s capabilities They have climbed together One of them, Johann, the less experienced one, is an unusually morose mood, however Everything in him seems to resist the looming challenge Halfway he finally gives in to this sentiment and abandons his mate who doesn t want to retreat and proceeds on his own, in uncertain weather and with scant knowledge of the route ahead We are never let in on the reason for Johann s reluctance to proceed with the climb I recognise his mood of doom laden indecisiveness, however Experienced mountaineers develop a sixth sense that warns of danger I ve witnessed this myself when, crawling out of my sleeping bag in the middle of the night, I was filled with an inexplicable dread of the journey ahead And to be sure, ignoring these sentiments has confronted me with dramatic, in some cases fatal events So I have learned to trust these intimations Hence I found Johann s decision to retreat eminently sensible and his partner s decision to push onwards inexcusably reckless The cold menace and even terror radiating out from the inhospitable mountain setting is well captured in this story There is no metaphysics here Death is ultimately decided by an infinitesimal shift in the balance of the competing forces of friction and gravity This factualness offers a welcome contrast with Max Frisch Antwort aus der Stille Eine Erz hlung aus den Bergen, another Swiss novella from the interbellum that partakes of a similar atmosphere but unfortunately gives into a temptation to sentimentalise I read Bergfahrt in the recently published Dutch translation The story is complemented with an insightful biographical essay by Anna St ssi Hohl s biographer and a short, equally informative afterword by the translator Ard Posthuma, backed up by four students from the VertalersVakschool in Amsterdam Fascinating also are two facsimile reproductions of postcards sent by the author from his Alpine abodes There s a curious editorial error in the annotation of the card sent by Hohl to his friend Kurt M ller on 10 July 1927 The card pictures the unmistakable profile of the Aiguille du Dru in the Mont Blanc range, not a peak named Weggis supposedly part of the Swiss Gl rnisch mountains 3.5 stars Hohls Bergtocht leidt naar een berg die nog niemand gezien heeft en die toch als hij ter sprake komt door iedereen wordt herkendAdolf Muschg, geciteerd door Anna St ssi in het afsluitend essay Beschrifte bergen Zonder St ssi s essay zou ik de bergtocht van Ull en Johann wellicht snel vergeten Gelukkig legde het essay heel wat ondergesneeuwde lagen op de bergflanken bloot Een dusdanig wonderlijk rijke taal van meanderende frasen, plechtstatige beschrijvingen van de meest precieze handelingen en gedachten, en meeslepend beeldende woordenschat zou je in een bergbeklimmersrelaas niet verwachten.Bergtocht is dan ook meer dan slechts een korte anekdote over twee klimmers die enkele dagen doorbrengen op de Zwitserse kammen Het is een bijzonder gelaagde psychologische parabel over de menselijke staat, de onverzoenbare eigenheid van karakters en het noodlot.Wie aandachtig leest ziet de tweespalt reeds gesymboliseerd vanaf het begin op het terras in het dal, en meest magistraal tijdens het wachten op geschikter weer op de Helling der melancholie, wanneer de anders zo expressieve Ull zich in stilte richt op de details rondom hem en de introverte Johann net dan een vergezicht in het vizier krijgt wat hem tot weidse, diepe gedachten brengt, maar deze ervaring dan toch weer getrouw aan zijn aard niet met de ander deelt.Voeg hierbij een droom over een beer en enkele hallucinaties tengevolge van ontbering, twijfel en onrust, en men is er zich gauw van bewust dat deze novelle, hoewel bij wijlen uitzonderlijk technisch ogend, geen hero sche berghistorie, noch een egocentrische klimmersbio is, en waarom Leesmagazijn het gelukkig nodig achtte dit miskende dan wel over het hoofd geziene meesterwerkje te publiceren. 3 1 2 sterIk heb helemaal niets met bergen beklimmen maar het is prachtig beschreven. In minder dan 100 bladzijden schrijft Hohl zijn verhaal over alpinisme, nostalgie en intermenselijke relaties, in een stijl helder als berglucht In De acht bergen volgt Paolo Cognetti de route die door De Bergtocht werd geopend, maar zonder de ijle hoogten van Hohls stilistische bravoure te bereiken. Good thing I didn t read this before going climbing in the Alps, or I wouldn t have done it I wonder if Hohl did much climbing himself, and if so, why He certainly doesn t make it sound appealing at all The narrative could use chamois goats. Ludwig Hohl 1904 1980 is another of thesui generisauthors I find myself drawn to The Swiss German Hohl was thrown out of school for being a bad influence and never acquired a profession, subsequently living in poverty for most of his life For quite some time he lived in a cave, where he wrote some of his best work Somehow or other he managed to wed five times He had a low opinion of writing and writers, though he spent a great deal of his life writing, primarily for the desk drawer Not surprisingly, he had trouble getting his work published, and when he succeeded in doing so, the sales were minimal, despite the fact that authors such as Adolf Muschg, Max Frisch and Friedrich D rrenmatt admired his work Much of his writing was published posthumously, and it is out of print againBergfahrtwhich has been translated into English with the title Ascent is a novella begun in 1926 and re written many times When Adolf Muschg convinced Siegfried Unseld, the head of the great German literary publishing house Suhrkamp Verlag, in the early 1970 s to read some of Hohl s work, Unseld was impressed and started publishing Hohl s texts, most for the first time Among these wasBergfahrt1975 , which I stumbled across in 1980 I loved it and bought what I could find of his books Not enough, unfortunatelyBergfahrtis a parable like story of two men climbing a mountain in the Swiss Alps early in the 20th century On a beautiful late spring morning, two very different men set out to climb a mountain Ull, shorter and experienced, takes the lead and Johann, tall and gaunt, follows behind The stages of the climb, the different regions of the mountain, are described in an often poetic, but realistic, prose One feels one is climbing with them.Already at the first rest stop it is clear that something is not right with Johann This impression is reinforced at the evening stop, where Johann does not take Ull s sound advice how to stay warm All the next day they are socked in by rain and snow, so they remain in the little hay storage hut they had spent the night in From Johann hardly any signs of life and then another dark, miserable, freezing night in the hay hut The rain was finished as the next day dawned, but Hohl convincingly evokes the threatening inhumanity, the alien otherness of the high mountain morn amid wind whipped gray and black cloudbanks But they continue their climb, though it was now clear that they undertook the climb too early in the season, because the next hut was completely buried under snow and ice They managed to locate and dig down into the hut to find some shelter, but there wasn t much rest for them The next day offered yet problems to the stubborn pair.All the while Hohl is powerfully describing for us the increasingly alien, increasingly deadly surroundings as they slowly and painfully ascend the mountain The climbers, whose thoughts we are not privy to and who rarely speak, shrink into insignificance in these surroundings Then comes a glacier, which is anything but a smooth, solid sheet of ice slowly moving down a mountain Johann speaks the first word of the day, Schrecklich terrible, frightening , as Ull gestures at what stands before them.They still continue This is where I realize that I don t understand mountain climbers at all Yeah, I know, the challenge I d rather swim through the sharks from Cuba to Florida, thanksI don t want to spoil the story for you, so, again, I ll leave it there It gets worse and worse for the climbers, and then there are some surprises, and then some Might you want to read this short and intense book about the small matters that can transform a man s greatest strengths into his greatest weaknesses And what about that moment when death is everywhere, when there is no escape or that other, very different moment when death surprises Though the parable aspects of Bergfahrt left me untouched, the rest is burnt into my imagination in such an indelible manner as few other books are.In the meanwhile, I have reviewed two other books by HohlN chtlicher Wegand Dass fast alles anders ist. 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