4 June 2008
TRAKL, Georg (1887-1914). Autograph letter signed ('Georg') to his younger brother Friedrich ('Lieber Fritz'), n.p. [Vienna], n.d. [after 1 October 1910], 1½ pages, 4to, on a bifolium; envelope with printed heading of the 'K. u. K. Militärmedikamentendirektion' (stamp torn away). Provenance: Stargardt sale, 16 November 1999, lot 301; the Albin Schram Collection.
Trakl apologises for not answering his brother's letter for so long ('Nach hartnäckig anhaltender Schreib und Redefaulheit ...'), but assures him of his interest in his affairs in his new garrison (of the Landesschützregiment no.1 in Rovereto) -- 'Wie bekommt dir wohl diese militärische Touristik?'. Georg himself is passing his year (as volunteer medical orderly) as best he can - 'ich ... finde es bedauerlich, daß bei dieser Angelegenheit mein Popo das einzige ist, was strapaziert wird'. Their sisters both seem well, although this doesn't stop the younger, Margarete, sending him 'exzentrische Episteln'. He has no news from home, however; he himself has moved to a room in the Josefstädterstrasse 'the size of a closet', although the outlook depresses him: 'In geheimen befürchte ich, darin idiotisch zu werden. Aussicht nehme ich auf einen finsteren, kleinen Lichthof -- wenn man zum Fenster hinaussieht, versteinert man vor Trostlosigkeit'. He will be happy when his year as a volunteer is over.
Trakl's father had died in June. His year of military service was a period of depression and drug use -- but also the time of his poetic coming of age. Published in Dichtungen und Briefe (1987), vol.1, p.480.
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