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‚Elementargedicht‘: Sebald und Zanzotto

Till Kinzel


Pages 451 - 457



The essay addresses the relationship between nature and poetry between the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the new millennium from a comparative perspective by taking as case studies the first collection of poems by W.G. Sebald (1944–2001), ‚Nach der Natur. Elementargedicht‘ (1988) and the last by Andrea Zanzotto (1921–2011), ‚Conglomerati‘ (2009). Specifically, I will investigate the forms of ‘Naturgedicht’ in its elementary declination and oppose it to the lyrical tradition by means of a phenomenological and eco-poetic re-reading of post-Romantic poetry. By distinguishing ‘Gedicht’ and ‘Lyrik’ on a formal and epistemological level, the objective of the article will be twofold: on the one hand, to historically and theoretically disambiguate the ‘Naturgedicht’ tradition built around the nexus of the ‘Welt-ich’; on the other, to perform a hermeneutic analysis of Sebald’s and Zanzotto’s poems. Finally, the essay will try to offer an innovative historical-theoretical approach to read the relationships between the (lyric) subject, poetry and nature, and also to rethink from a diachronic perspective the evolution of the concepts of ‘Naturpoesie’ and ‘Naturlyrik’ within the current eco-poetics debate.

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