The genesis of Robert Walser’s Mikrogramm 364 (Microscript 364) follows an acoustic trace which positions itself at a deliberate distance from visual mediality, constitutes itself in sequences of assonances, and oscillates between poetry and prose. Acoustic microephemerality is thus the actual motivating force behind writing. Peter Weber’s novel Silber und Salbader employs similar sound processes in the creation of syntagmatic linkages, although he “sediments” this narration in historical and geological soundscapes, which the macroephemerality of acoustic retention tries to overcome by means of a literary vision. Drawing on Roman Jakobson’s “poetic function,” it is demonstrated, through example, how the acoustic elements of their texts are central to the poetology of both authors – for each, however, from a different perspective: acoustic micro- and macroephemerality, respectively.
The three sound files per row are of similar duration and represent layers of a filtering process: the original source (left) is Boris Previsic’s complete reading of the German version of his article Acoustic Micro- and Macroephemeralities in Literature. Robert Walser’s Microscript 364 (1925) and Peter Weber’s Silber und Salbader (1999), home-recorded in five takes on his mobile phone. These takes have been filtered with a reciprocal mp3-filter by Hannes Seidl (middle) and the five resulting sound files inspired Lucas Niggli to five Sound Essays with the same duration (right). The readers are invited to mix their own version out of the different layers.