Oswald Egger

Val di Non

(German title: Val di Non)
ca. 208 pages
Oswald Egger
Foto: Oswald Egger
© Susanne Schleyer

Born in 1963 in Lana/South Tyrol, Egger lives in Vienna as a poet.

He has been awarded several literary prizes, amongst them the Peter-Huchel-Prize in 2007.

Rights available

»I sing, therefore I am, I sing.«


Longlisted for the Austrian Book Prize 2017


Can you imagine a mountain without its corresponding valley? If you can imagine both God and the world, can you manage to imagine, for example, God without the world? That which hovers before your mind’s eye, from A to Z, often appears more real than what’s confusingly in front of you.

Once upon a time mountains were mountains and valleys were valleys. Once we know that there are more things in heaven and earth than we can dream of, mountains are no longer mountains nor chasms chasms: what’s bursting into bloom before you could also be a valley. Sounds call out to one another in secret, barely audible, from deep inside and below. Wide awake then the intervals swell in speech, over and over again a second voice joins the first, then another, and then another and: like an echo the possible feasts upon limitation through repetition, but encounters ever less reality.

One can take a extraordinary hike through Oswald Egger’s Val di Non or simply go for a walk. A richly illustrated book with innumerable doors, idiosyncrasies, and points that lead you to stumble into an incredible imaginary landscape of the marvelous: what it will be like to have lived without having been.   


»Oswald Egger moves comfortably between literature and the sciences, visual art and sound art.« Süddeutsche Zeitung

»With Val di Non Egger sets off on the search for the absolute void as a means of purification on the way to poetic enlightenment ... and thereby carries on his distinctive poetical programme with convincing consistency.« Deutschlandfunk

»Val di Non is a refined book of rejection, a topographical experiment with sight. Wandering through a landscape we are pulled into the massive rock face of words and into a literary botany, which can be even more real and detailed than reality itself.« Neue Zürcher Zeitung

»Egger is a magician of the word.« Peter Pisa, Kurier

»In eloquent and detailed language Oswald Egger creates a landscape which at times seems even more real than reality itself.« ORF

»[Val di non] is perhaps Egger’s most beautiful book yet, certainly the most personal.« Orf Ö1 Ex libris

»Egger’s stunning language on the one hand takes hold of describable nature in a very precise way, and on the other liquefies it in his current of archaic words. Great poetry for unnatural times.« Wiener Zeitung