„The lines of life are different/ like paths are and the borders of mountains,“ wrote the older Hölderlin. The new volume Lebenslinien by Karl Corino takes up these verses to pull, on the occasion of his 75th birthday, from his lyrical oeuvre up until now, printed and not printed, although foremost from the volumes Tür-Stürze, In Bebons Tal. Neue Bilder aus Bebenhausen, Vademecum. Balladen über die Jugend in einer kleinen Stadt and Falltüren des Himmels. Eine kleine Vogelkunde.
Karl Corino, as the name suggests the scion of an Italian family that emigrated to Germany 400 years ago for religious reasons and came to settle in Franconia, o en compares his life as a “man of learning,” as a journalist and biographer, to the existence of those “before him,” the farmers and craftsmen around the Hesselberg, the Franks’ geological inlier, but also looks to literary colleagues like Christian Wagner and Robert Musil (or Droste-Hülshoff). A focus on the GDR shouldn’t be left out, especially since Corino anchored the show Transit. Kultur in der DDR on Hessisscher Rundfunk for almost 20 years.
Corino’s imagery is strongly shaped by the agrarian world in which he grew up, and by the garden landscapes of Tübingen, his “Elysium,” where he has been living with his wife Elisabeth Albertsen since 2003: a locus amoenus, from which his thoughts begin their journey back to ancient times or into the abysses of the ‘dark genetics’ of the times of Stalin.
Karl Corino was born in Ehingen, Middle Franconia, in 1942. He was educated at the Humanities Gymnasium in Dinkelsbühl from 1952 to 1961 and studied German Studies, Philology and Classical Philology in Erlangen and Tübingen from 1961 to 1966. From 1966 to 1967 he catalogued and studied Robert Musil's literary estate in Rome with his later wife Elisabeth Albertsen. He earned a doctorate under Friedrich Beißner in Tübingen with a historical-critical dissertation on Robert Musil's collection of two short stories Vereinigungen (Unions) in 1969. He has worked as an editor in the Literature Department of the Hessian Broadcasting Corporation in Frankfurt since 1970, from 1985 to 2002 as leading editor. He has fulfilled guest professorships in Pisa, Essen, and St. Louis. From 1997 to 1998 he was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin and since then lives as an independent author in Tübingen. In addition to the collection Intellectuals in Captivity under National Socialism, he has published: Genius and Money, on the counterfeit of three seminal works; Robert Musil: Life and Work in Images and Texts (1988); Robert Musil: A Biography (2003); Memories of Robert Musil: En Face - Texts from Eye-Witnesses (2010); as well as numerous publications on GDR literature, such as The Border Files: IM Martin, the Stasi, and the Literature of East and West (1995) and Marble Outside, Plaster Inside: the Legend of Stephan Hermlin (1996).