Schönheit und Schmerz
"Divertimenti" are what the pieces in this book are called: Poetry flows into prose and prose into lyrical forms. Sparkling and entertaining, diversifying and pinpoint. The rural area around the "Setonaikai", the Japanese inland sea with its islands and mountains, Shinto shrines and bamboo forests, Kusu trees and cicadas, is the center of power, which produces a variety of poetic realizations. Such findings are, of course, not without pain. They thread themselves on narrative strands of illness and death, humiliation and high spirits. What emerges in this way is the purest pleasure, a celebration of perception, instigated and controlled by an author with a sharp awareness of language and virtuoso means of expression. In the end the Japanese experience becomes universal, the inland sea mirrors the Mediterranean Sea, remote places of reading and writing correspond with places and stories of Central Europe.
Leopold Federmair born in Upper Austria, has been living in Japan for 17 years. He is an author and translator (including Michel Houellebecq, Francis Ponge, Ricardo Piglia, Ryu Murakami, Juan Ramón Jiménez) and teaches at the university of Hiroshima. He has published about 30 books, most recently the novel "Monden" as well as the 'Flanierbuch' "Tokyo Fragmente". His essays are published regularly in 'Neue Zürcher Zeitung' and 'Wiener Standard'.