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Dialect poems

Dialect poems are characterized by the fact that they use the specific dialect of a certain region, for example Axel Karner, Gerhard Rühm, Ernst Jandl, H.C. Artmann, Kurt Marti or Franz Hohler. The dialect poems of H.C. Artmann, who according to Friedrich Achleitner would have discovered "the dialect for modern poetry" (Achleitner 1992, 37), can be described as a kind of origin of this poetry. In his volume med ana schwoazzn dintn, published in 1958, Artmann makes use of the Viennese folk tone, always combining his dialect poetry with certain contents of modern fantasy such as macabre, grotesque and abysmal: Thus effects of alienation arise, since the classical dialect poetry is combined with genuinely fantastic horror worlds. Artmann's special thrust was emphasized above all by Hans Peter Ecker: "The alienation of the familiar, the distanced and critical view of home has thus also become possible in dialect poetry; the connection to other genres, such as the folk pieces of a Horvath" (Ecker 1989, p. 300).

By integrating Viennese dialect into language and text montages, Artmann became an influential member of the Viennese group, which he influenced significantly, just as, conversely, the criteria of the "Vienna Group" in the sense of the avant-garde experiments of modern avant-garde shaped this new form of dialect poetry. Gerhard Rühm, for example, also used the tonal characteristics of the Viennese dialect, but at the same time presented them in a "new radical phonetic notation" (Ecker 1989, p. 300). These experiments must therefore be distinguished from classical dialect poetry: "This new dialect poetry reaches a new level of authenticity. Regional substance does not grow to the poem through the citation of world-famous, long gone-down landmarks of a locality, but through the unusual, surprising'attitude'. (Ibid.)

Towards the end of the 1960s, Viennese dialect poetry was adopted by literary groups in other German-speaking regions and gradually developed further. Authors such Axel Karner, Franzobel, Franz Hohler and Ernst Jandl write in dialect (in sharp contrast to dialect literature), but shift the focus of dialect literature from the marginal fields of society, the Vienna language games and the surreal to the everyday, empirical and political: Axel Karner, for example, writes for the persecuted, excluded in society, thus adding a socio-political function to traditional dialect poetry. Socially critical in a similar similar manner are the Blätter eines Hof-Poeten (leaves of a court poet) by Berlin poet Günter Bruno Fuchs: "Jestern / kam eena klingeln / von Tür zu / Tür. Hat nuscht / jesagt. Kein // Ton. Hat so schräg / sein Kopf / jehalten, war / still. Hat nuscht / jesagt, // als wenn der / von jestern / war / und nur mal / rinnkieken wollte, / wies sich so / lebt."


Achleitner, Friedrich: „wir haben den dialekt für die moderne dichtung entdeckt...". [Zu H. C. Artmann, Gerhard Rühm und Ernst Klein], in: Gerhard Fuchs, Rüdiger Wischenbart (Hg.): H. C. Artmann, Graz, Wien 1992, (= Dossier 3), S. 37-40.

Ecker, Hans-Peter: Region und Regionalismus Bezugspunkte für Literatur oder Kategorien der Literaturwissenschaft?, in: Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte 63,2 (1989), S. 295–314.