day 118: snow
With a quite different cultural background I cannot quite share everything with Ezequiel. He is Argentinian and although he learned German in school, he doesn’t understand most of it and he also can’t speak German. Although I think that he might learn the language eventually, he’s still resisting the idea. Once upon a time he lived in Germany for a while and he didn’t like it at all. His hesitation quite likely stems from this period and I think he still finds the whole idea of moving here at least part of the time a bit strange. In any case, yesterday I actually ended up doing something which only made sense in German: I went to a literary reading by Oswald Henke. I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity when I for once didn’t have to travel to go to one of his readings.
I’ve known Oswald for more than 10 years now and his old band Goethes Erben was my favourite band for a very long time. They split already a while back and I hadn’t been much in contact with the stuff Oswald does for a few years. After all I didn’t even live in Germany and whatever he does it’s definitely in German. I doubt that it has much of a market in England or Spain. Ezequiel stayed at home, since he wouldn’t understand it anyway, while I went a bit down memory lane. I really used to enjoy Oswald’s dark, sometimes depressive outlook on the world back when I was a teenager and also now I can still identify with what he writes about. However, nowadays I feel somewhat more distant to it, also because I hardly even speak German in every day life although I live in Germany.
Oswald is an experienced entertainer and has been on stages for probably more than 20 years now (if I’m not mistaken), so it wasn’t at all surprising that he could keep the audience on the edge. Sometimes he’d push towards the depressing or disturbing side of things and then brighten it all up with a bit of humour. One thing I noticed was that he still likes to bite the hand that feeds him. Most of his audience are black clad gothics and he can’t help making fun of them sometimes. Sure, he’s right, the German gothic scene certainly isn’t what it used to be, but it had been going into a strange direction for a very long time. This was also the main reason why I distanced myself from that scene quite a while back.
And although Oswald writes in a language that is more distant to me now and for an audience that is strange to me, he still manages to hit the right sentiment. I always thought that he had a talent for saying the right thing at the right time and his writing reflects that to some extent. I found myself wondering why he isn’t aiming at a more mainstream audience too. At least some of the subject matter would be quite compatible. However, I guess it’s understandable since he’s an established personality in the gothic scene and quite likely totally unknown in mainstream literary circles. In the picture he sprinkles something into the light to make it look like falling snow.
I hope that one day also this might be something Ezequiel and me can share.