Saturday, 20 March 2010

the gudrun ensslin sonnets - part 2

The concluding 12 sonnets are here

(I'm still working on embedding them. Why it's not working like part 1 I don't know!).

sciolist - thanks for your comments on part 1. I missed them first time around: I've now responded. Hope you like part 2.


  1. Hi Simon. i am not a savvy reader at all. i had read up on the Gudrun story before starting on the sonnets but frankly i did not pick up on the RAF being suicided by the State. as in if there was a vocabulary of political power/manipulation, it escaped me. what came across strongly for me was the self-absorption in pieces like test no and stone nets. i am just citing these as pieces i was especially taken with.
    as a lay reader, part 2 drew me in as having more of the lyrical in it. i didn’t get the ventriloquist allusion (helene). i simply read it as part of the process of going back or coming to conclusions/making peace with remembrance.regards
    - arka

  2. sciolist - thanks for that.

    I was being over-specific, really, & your reading of the texts is great to know. I certainly wouldn't say it was unsavvy!

    It was that intersection of love & narcissism I was 'aiming' at. There are personal resonances for me with the RAF, too, & what happened in 1977 - simply because I was 17 & was very caught up in the narrative. I remain ambivalent about them & about Gudrun: there's the pin up aspect, the queasy glamour. There's also the constant sense that when the state deploys violence it's redefined as legal/the state of exception, etc.

    I'm very glad part 2 came across as it did. That was why I separated them: not perhaps peace in remembrance, but a sense that some kind of mourning & apotheosis is there.

    Regards, Simon