16 Apr. 2005 // 16 Oct. 2005

A House in Korntal

Júlio Resende

Galeria do Acervo | Collection Gallery

Family circumstances meant frequent stays in Korntal, a few kilometres from Stuttgart, where my daughter Marta and my only grandson Daniel live. Korntal is a word derived from two others, which means “Valley of Wheat”, and explains the nature of the place in topographical terms. In fact, from Stuttgart to Korntal, we can imagine continuous forest surrounding the Solitude Palace without any difficulty. The forest, of which Germany is proud, is maintained with natural discipline by all who accept and defend it. Korntal, therefore, is a small urban zone which is almost disguised in the landscape since the buildings do not extend beyond the houses surrounded by gardens carefully tended with visible pride by their owners at weekends. The small town obeys the rules of social composure of a class linked to the automobile industry.
But Korntal stands out socially for another reason: a “sect” with a moral ideology and “pietist” religion had its base there for many years, which still today is reflected in the collective behaviour of the residents.
In one of my stays, as I walked along the immaculately tidy streets, I inadvertently dropped a scarf.
The following day, when I noticed it was missing and took the same course, I found it carefully folded and placed on a low garden wall. This is Korntal.
This is where Marta’s house is, where Daniel is growing up. My memories are naturally in the company of my grandson to whom I taught the first Portuguese words and who, as he grew up, walked with me to the forest, making his small watercolours.
It is normal for the private gardens to have no walls to stop passers-by seeing in, and the owners relish their gardening. Although with the passing of time, Marta has become part of this social scene, her garden is not exactly like the rest.
Perhaps it is such a subtle matter it is impossible to explain.
My expressionist temperament, as if "pacified" by the scenery of this house, accepted an “intimacy” I am not used to. The atmosphere of a harmony of images and sounds, not only captured at first hand, but emanating from the surroundings, proved propitious to recording these notes.

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