Lyricist Wal Sayer, from Berlin, and Dietlind Elsizer, actress and cabaret artist from Heimmendorf, painted a picture of the life of writer Andrea Knoll, who is close to her home country, at the Berlin Community Center on Saturday.
Starzach-Bierlingen – Andrea Knoll lived in Reutlingen, where she died in 2019, but was at her home in Bierlingen. She wrote dialect stories, radio plays, poems, and also High German prose.
The event was called for by the Starzach Cultural Forum. However, Wall Sayer had the idea, who had already planned this celebration of Andrea Knoll’s 60th birthday last year. I have met with her for many years. I quote him, while Detlinde Elsizer, with her unique wit and charm from the Swabian, read poems and texts from the works of the native of Berling. It was an entertaining evening, enjoyed by many visitors.
She had no shortage of humor
Even when it comes to serious issues: Andrea Noll has never lacked humor. It also has something to do with the dialect you grew up with. She was born on December 2, 1961 in Berlingen. She attended the Eugen-Bolz-Gymnasium in Rothenburg, and studied German and English for a few semesters after graduating from high school. She could not become a teacher, so she began to train as a therapy teacher, but had to give up this job for health reasons.
I started writing in the mid-1980s. According to Dietlind Alcisser, they were texts of great artistic value, including stories from her childhood and village. She wrote, “It may seem paradoxical, but whoever wants to find the wide world today must first crawl into the snail’s shell.”
If you remember her parents, grandparents and the simple people in the country in general. According to Ellisser, Knoll wanted to put this on the front. She saw the village as an “interactive structure”.
Adolescence is characterized by tradition and modernity
It arose at “the interface between the old and the dying and a completely different new time”. As a teenager, she read “Bravo” and sang rock and pop on a tractor, which her father didn’t hear while driving because of the noise. On the other hand, I attended the May Prayer at the Church of the Forest, and found religious devotion to nature during the procession of Osh or “wift-gathering”. “We lived very intensely,” she says of her youth shaped by tradition and modernity.
I picked up a lot of stories from there. For example, about the five brothers who loved to compose music and sit together in “Russell”. One of them had to emigrate to Hungary, the other died of smallpox during the “French War”, and the third, who wanted to marry a woman from Waldorf, immigrated to America. The two who remained went to the inn, but were no longer making music. This is what the mother, for whom the stranger was synonymous with misery, said to the “girl.”
Andrea Knoll writes of “Neidruckerle,” a neglected neighbor’s child, driven by hunger to break into strangers’ homes and look at cooking utensils. Or about grandfather and husband sitting in the living room by the warm fireplace. Once the furnace is turned off, “the world gets cooler.” For a high school graduate, the road home from Eyach to Bierlingen in winter turns out to be a journey back in time from the war to the present day.
Finally, there is a longer story
For Andrea Noll, the cultural change was also evident in Fasnet, for example when “witches chased the Three Kings around the square”. The village is also changing: the old heads are twisted so that the hedgehogs and butterflies disappear, while the public space is filled with flower pots and wagon wheels – or better, according to the author, “empty.”
She closely monitors her surroundings and people. In the end, Dietlind Elsizer and Wall Sayer read a longer story: in “Ernemünde” the author describes driving with a tractor and trailer fully loaded with sacks of grain to the admission point at Raipa in Gao. You notice “men” already waiting there, sweating and blowing their noses, talking about the fact that it wasn’t worth delivering pills anymore. One of them, a man in an undershirt, secretly puts a cigarette behind the 15-year-old’s ear so that her father could not see. When she returns in the evening, the full moon is so attractively lit that she wants to “go down” from it.
Andrea Knoll, as described by Wahl Sayer, died on 25 May 2019, alone in her bed in her apartment in Reutlingen. With the evening in the community center, he and Detlind Elsizer brought them “to their home in Berlingen”.