Monday, April 14, 2014

The New Brave Slav(e)s - Winnetous of the Old World

The author who has captured most aptly young people’s experience of life in foreign countries nowadays is Zuska Kepplová. In her prose debut Buchty švabachom/Sweet Buns with Gothic Script (2011) she articulated the fictive nature of the conflict between home and the world: “(...) none of us left. We did not pack our cases in the middle of the night; we did not swim across the Danube and climb over barbed wire. We simply did what everyone was talking about: Today you can travel, go to good schools, get to know people and speak to them in foreign languages... We wanted to join in, take part in the world. Scoop it up with a large spoon. Break our teeth on it. We did not leave anyone or anything. And if so, only symbolically.”  First Death in the family and Morava River in Australia

Pilgrim, remember these words, whenever you wade into water.
(Inscription in the sands.)

Water is the strongest.
How many have waded into water before you?
Ask the days, when you return.
Follow the flight of heaven’s birds and the heavenly

bodies, the counter-currents, the shine and the
dulled fury of the surface that hungers.
Share your food with water, with the fishy smell and

the ducks.
Don’t disturb them while feeding.
You step barefoot into water and you carry your life in

your hands.
The cormorants’ shriek is more intelligible to water

than human words.
The shrilling of the kingfishers, whose nest the

fishermen knocked over, will forever be repeated by
the reeds as their most cryptic song.
Murmur accompanies every movement, but there are

more silent surfaces too.
Water journeys onwards.
Traverses the bodies of pilgrims.
Splashes over them.
Have you praised that language?
Have you heard that tongue?
Where were you, if you were not by water?
Carry water in vessels, whenever the opportunity

Give water to flowers and the slender arboreal kinds.

Water is the strongest.
Speech that is uttered by water will remain in the land,

and above the surface it shall be borne afar. The riverbank, fortified by the alders’ roots, is
a rendezvous of the land’s defensive powers.
The secret of the soil’s fertility is guarded by the trees,

to which the rivers tune their flow.
The sough of the willow leaves is an echo of the mother

Whether you have a brother or none, along the

waterline you are blood brother of the savage who understands all important things, even though he understands no others.