A. W. at the Rhine Falls x 50

warholc

Aus New York City erreichte uns diese künstlerische Beschäftigung mit dem Rheinfallthema von Tom Hipe. Im Original handelt es sich um einen Siebdruck auf Leinwand. Tom erweist mit seiner campbell`sschen Feuertopf-Arbeit natürlich niemand anderem als Andy Warhol posthum Referenz, indem er ihn, ebenfalls posthum, denn von einem tatsächlichen Schaffhausen-Besuch Warhols existieren keine Zeugnisse, an den unvergleichlichen Rheinfall schickt. Die weithin bekannte, unike Technik und Haltung Warhols erscheinen in dieser Arbeit wohlwollend-ironisch gebrochen, Toms (was uns stolz macht:) Arbeit ist vorderhand für rheinsein inszeniert, Toms eigens für diese Arbeit gewähltes Pseudonym tut sein Übriges, das Werk abzurunden. rheinsein dankt ganz herzlich und sendet beste Grüße an den Hudson nach New York!

Adolf Clarenbach

Zum Geleit

Es war zur Winterzeit. In Eis erstarrte
Der Niagara selbst. Ein Blizzard fegte
Mit wildem Brausen heulend durch die Staaten,
Schneemassen schüttend auf das Land am Erie,
Wie mit Lawinen Buffalo begrabend.
Laut keuchend flog der Blitzzug zwischen Wällen
Aus weißem Schnee, getürmt von tausend Händen,
So hoch wie unsre Wagen schier, von denen
Herab vom Schneedach zu den Eisenrädern
Eiszapfen, glitzernd wie ein Silberpanzer,
In märchenhafter Pracht herniederhingen –
So fuhren wir hinaus zum Staat Indiana.
Es schwirrten um mein Ohr die fremden Laute
Der neuen Welt, der tatenfrohen Yankees.

Da tauchte plötzlich auf vor meinem Geiste
Das ferne Heimatland am grünen Rheine,
Der Drachenfels mit seiner stolzen Spitze,
Der deutsche Strom im Zauber seiner Ufer.
Und horch! um seine Berge scholl, erst leise,
Dann laut und immer lauter mir erklingend,
Ein holdes Lied aus fernen Jugendtagen,
Als ob des Sturms Gewalt unwiderstehlich
Die Äolsharfe mir im Herzen rührte.
Es nahten sich die freundlichen Gestalten,
Sie schwebten um mich her, vertraulich winkend,
Sie hielten lächelnd Schritt mit dem Kurierzug,
Sie ließen sich an meiner Seite nieder
Und drängten: „Wags und halt uns fest im Liede!“
 
Ich nahm den Stift und schrieb. Und ich schrieb weiter
Im breiten Tal des stolzen Mississippi,
Im Tal des Delaware und des Ohio,
Am Susquehannah, Hudson und Potómac
Und auf des Ozeans endlosen Flächen.
Sie zogen mit, die mahnenden Gestalten
Wie einst im West, so auch im fernen Osten:
Selbst an des roten Meeres glühnder Küste
Umschwebten unablässig sie den Reiter,
Der auf dem Rücken des Kamels dahinflog,
Im weißen Zelt der menschenleeren Wüste,
An Horebs majestätischen Riesenwänden,
An Sinais gewaltgen Felskolossen,
Wo schweigend auf die farbgen Urgebirge
Wie einst zu Moses Zeit die Sonne brannte.
Sie schwebten unsichtbar an meiner Seite
Auf meiner fernen Kindheit trauten Bergen,
Die felsgekrönt Jerusalem umgeben,
Im einsam grünen Uferwald des Jordans,
In Jericho, im Schatten schlanker Palmen,
Am leuchtend blauen See Genezareth.
 
So ward im fremden Land dies Lied vom Rheine.
Und was aus innerem Drang sich mir gestaltet,
Wag ich zu bieten euch auf diesen Blättern.
Und bleichen auch schon meinen Hauptes Haare
Und fehlt der Jugend holder Sturm und Drang –
Nehmt auch vom Alternden die schlichte Gabe
Und seid ihm freundlich, wenn ihr könnt, gewogen.
 
(aus: Ludwig Schneller – Adolf Clarenbach. Ein Sang vom Rhein, Kommissionsverlag von H G Wallmann, Leipzig 1911, Bestand Fliedner Kulturstiftung Kaiserswerth.
Adolf Clarenbach wurde als evangelischer Ketzer in Köln vom katholischen Klerus verbrannt.)

Melville in London

“X X X I last wrote in my journal on the banks of the Rhine – & now after the lapse of a few days, I resume it on the banks of the Thames, in my old chamber that overlooks it, on Saturday the 15th of Dec: `49. – I broke off at Coblentz on Monday night, Dec: 10th. The same night I fell in with a young Englishman at a cigar shop & had a long talk with him. He had been in America, & was related to Cunard of the Steamers. Next morning, Tuesday Dec 11th, I again rambled about the town – saw the artillery-men & infantry exercise on the parade ground. Very amusing indeed. Saw a squadron of drumers. Walked down & up the river, & while waiting for the Cologne boat spent at least two hours standing on a stone peir, at the precise junction of the Rhine & Moselle. At 3 o´clock started for Cologne on a Dusseldorf boat. It was intensely cold. Dined at the table d`hote in the cabin. Fine dinner & wine. Drank Rhenish on the Rhine. Saw Drachenfells & the Seven Mountains, & Rolandseck, & the Isle of Nuns. The old ruins & arch are glorious – but the river Rhine is not the Hudson. In the evening arrived at my old place – Hotel de Cologne. Recognized Drachenfells in a large painting on the wall. Drank a bottle of Steinberger with the landlord, a Rhinelander & a very gentlemanly, well-informed man, learned in wines. At 1/2 past 6 P.M went to the Theatre. Three vaudevilles acted. Audience smoking & drinking & looking on. Stopped in a shop on my way home & made some purchases for presents, & was insidiously cheated in the matter of a breast-pin, as I found out after getting to London, & not before. God forgive the girl – she was not very pretty, either – which makes it the more aggravating.”

Rhein vs Hudson

Den Mittelrhein hat Cooper also im Schnelldurchlauf gesehen, das Filetstück wie es oft hieß und heißt, und gleicht nun das Gesehene mit dem von daheim bekannten ab: “In the mood likely to be created by a flood of such recollections, we pursued our way along the southern margin of this great artery of central Europe. We wondered at the vastness of the Rheinfels, admired the rare jewel of the ruined church at Baccarach, and marvelled at the giddy precipice on which a prince of Prussia even now dwells, in the eagle-like grandeur and security of the olden time. On reaching Mayence, the evening of the second day, we deliberately and, as we hoped, impartially compared what had just been seen, with that which is so well and so affectionately remembered. I had been familiar with the Hudson from childhood. The great thoroughfare of all who journey from the interior of the state towards the sea, necessity had early made me acquainted with its windings, its promontories, its islands, its cities, and its villages. Even its hidden channels had been professionally examined, and the time was when there did not stand an unknown seat on its banks, or a hamlet that had not been visited. Here then was the force of deep impressions to oppose to the influence of objects still visible. To me it is quiet apparent that the Rhine, while it frequently possesses more of any particular species of scenery, within a given number of miles, than the Hudson, has none of so great excellence. It wants the variety, the noble beauty, and the broad grandeur of the American stream. The latter, within the distance universally admitted to contain the finest parts of the Rhine, is both a large and a small river; it has its bays, its narrow passages among the meadows, its frowning gorges, and its reaches resembling Italian lakes; whereas the most that can be said of its European competitor, is that all these wonderful peculiarities are feebly imitated. Ten degrees of a lower latitude supply richer tints, brighter transitions of light and shadow, and more glorious changes of the atmosphere, to embellish the beauties of our western clime. In islands, too, the advantage is with the Hudson, for, while those of the Rhine are the most numerous, those of the former stream are bolder, better placed, and, in every natural feature, of more account. When the comparison between these celebrated rivers is extended to their artificial accessories, the result becomes more doubtful. The buildings of the older towns and villages of Europe seem grouped especially for effect, as seen in the distant view, though security was in truth the cause, while the spacious, cleanly, and cheerful villages of America must commonly be entered, to be appreciated. In the other hemisphere, the maze of roofs, the church-towers, the irregular faces of wall, and frequently the castle rising to a pinnacle in the rear, give a town the appearance of some vast and antiquated pile devoted to a single object. Perhaps the boroughs of the Rhine have less of this picturesque, or landscape effect, than the villages of France and Italy, for the Germans regard space more than their neighbors, but still are they less commonplace than the smiling and thriving little marts that crowd the borders of the Hudson. To this advantage must be added that which is derived from the countless ruins, and a crowd of recollections. Here, the superiority of the artificial auxiliaries of the Rhine ceases, and those of her rival come into the ascendant. In modern abodes, in villas, and even in seats, those of princes alone excepted, the banks of the Hudson have scarcely an equal in any region. There are finer and nobler edifices on the Brenta, and in other favored spots, certainly, but i know no stream that has so many that please and attract the eye. As applied to moving objects, an important feature in this comparison, the Hudson has perhaps no rival, in any river that can pretend to a picturesque character. In numbers, in variety of rig, in beauty of form, in swiftness and dexterity of handling, and in general grace and movement this extraordinary passage ranks amongst the first of the world. The yards of tall ships swing among the rocks and forests of the highlands, while sloop, schooner, and bright canopied steam-boat, yacht, periagua, and canoe are seen in countless numbers, decking its waters. There is one more eloquent point of difference that should not be neglected. Drawings and engravings of the Rhine lend their usual advantages, softening, and frequently rendering beautiful, objects of no striking attractions when seen as they exist; while every similar attempt to represent the Hudson, at once strikes the eye as unworthy of its original.”

Lederstrumpf am Rhein

In der Einführung zu seinem Roman The Heidenmauer berichtet Lederstrumpf-Autor James Fenimore Cooper von seinen raschen, historisch inspirierten rheinischen Einsichten: „At Aix-la-Chapelle we bathed, visited the relics, saw the scene of so many coronations of emperors of more or less renown, sat in the chair of Charlemagne, and went our way. The Rhine was an old acquantaince. A few years earlier, I had stood upon the sands, at Katwyck, and watched its periodical flow into the North Sea, by means of sluices made in the short reign of the good king Louis, and, the same summer, I had bestrode it, a brawling brook, at the icy side of St. Gothard. We had come now to look at its beauties in its most beautiful part, and to compare them, as far as native partiality might permit, with the well-established claims of our Hudson. Quitting Cologne, its exquisite but incomplete cathedral, with the crane that has been poised on its unfinished towers five hundred years, its recollections of Rubens and his royal patroness, we travelled up the stream so leisurely as to examine all that offered, and yet so fast as to avoid the hazard of satiety. Here we met Prussian soldiers, preparing, by mimic service, for the more serious duties of their calling. Lancers were galloping, in bodies, across the open fields; videttes were posted, the cocked pistol in hand, at every hay-stack; while couriers rode, under the spur, from point to point, as if the great strife, which is so mennacingly preparing, and which sooner or later must come, had actually commenced. As Europe is now a camp, these hackneyed sights scarce drew a look aside. We were in quest of the interest which nature, in her happier humors, bestows. There were ruined castles, by scores; grey fortresses; abbeys, some deserted and others yet tenanted; villages and towns; the seven mountains; cliffs and vineyards. At every step we felt how intimate is the association between the poetry of Nature and that of art; between the hill-side with its falling turret and the moral feeling that lends them interest. Here was an island, of no particular excellence, but the walls of a convent of the middle ages crumbled on its surface. There was a naked rock, destitute of grandeur, and wanting in those tints which milder climates bestow, but a baronial hold tottered its apex. Here Caesar led his legions to the stream, and there Napoleon drew his corps d`armée on the hostile bank; this monument was to Hoche, and from that terrace the great Adolphus directed his battalions. Time is wanting to mellow the view of our own historical sites; for the sympathy that can be accumulated only by the general consent of mankind, has not yet clothed them with the indefinable colors of distance and convention.“