Time and Place

The present project is born out of two authors’ wish to create a time- and place-bound dialogue that is not quite one. In other words, the authors worked in parallel, each attempting to qualify the specifics of Fall 2021 from his/her respective standpoint. One explores auditory perceptions, while the other responds to the visual environment. The question whether they communicate with each other is deliberately left unanswered. We like to think that it is of little relevance. What matters here is time and place; the autobiographical is relegated to a diffuse evocation – maybe distantly akin to autofiction – maybe suggesting unspecific narratives and filtered emotions. Actions and anecdotes are reduced to fleeting moments. More important are our immediate surroundings.

Both texts were written in Austria in Fall 2021. “Autumn Sweater” (originally, the title of a Yo la Tengo song) was written in Innsbruck, in the heart of the Alps; it associates fifteen songs with the Fall season and forms a series of short reflective pieces. “Wien u. Umgebung im zweiten Herbst der Pandemie” (Vienna and surroundings during the second Fall in pandemic times) reports on different locations (streets, parks, museums, etc.), 550 kilometres away.

In September and October 2021, the number of covid-19 infections rose dramatically in Austria, to the point that a “lockdown light” was introduced on 3 November, followed by a “hard lockdown” from 17 November until 6 December 2021. During this pandemic-ridden Fall, in a country where news became rapidly alarming, writing was a pleasant occupation.

As the way to express impressions varies from language to language, we have kept the original in German, without providing a translation.

The authors are Mario Vötsch (Innsbruck) and Catherine Parayre (Vienna).


Editing: Mario Vötsch

Images: Catherine Parayre

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