Triest as Place of Refuge and Counterpoint to the Homeland in the Novel “Dauerhaftes Morgenrot” by Joseph Zoderer


Johann Holzner


No other work occupied the Southern Tirolian writer Joseph Zoderer
as long as his novel „Permanent Dawn“ (Dauerhaftes Morgenrot),
which he worked on (discontinuously) since 1976; the book appeared
Joseph Zoderer, Trieste,
Joseph Zoderer, Trieste,
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for the first time in 1987. From the very beginning, (as the priliminary
stages of the novel demonstrate), the author chose a Mediterranean island
for its setting. The protagonist is a man in his best years, however,
stranded in every respect.
This constellation fatally recalls other novels from the time after 1968,
such as, for instance, the biographical report „The Thirty-Year Peace“
(Der dreißigjährige Friede) by Peter O. Chotjewitz (1977), in which
another stranded man, in this case on Sardinia, finds an idyllic world
in contrast to the familiar system of norms in Germany.
In the final version of Zoderer’s novel, this simply-knit and conventional
dichotomy is, however, suspended. The setting and timeframe of the
plot remain unknown for a long time. Only gradually, it turns out that
the protagonist left his home and sojourns in Trieste. But his home, as
is visible at the beginning and at the end, is a region located further
north; it is a landscape dominated by ashes, larches, and apple trees instead
of cypresses and it is possible to see snowflakes there as late as in
May. – The accent of home is still present in the language of the novel.


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