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Poems and Prose: A Bilingual Edition (European Poetry Classics)by Georg Trakl
Synopses & Reviews
A comprehensive English-language edition of verse by the Austrian poet
An undeniable aura surrounds the name of Georg Trakl, a poet of intense inner vision and originality whose work stands alongside that of Yeats, Valéry, and T. S. Eliot. Besides Rilke, his more famous admirers include Karl Kraus and Martin Heidegger. The distinctive tone of Trakl's work-especially admired by his patron Ludwig Wittgenstein-is autumnal and melancholy. Trakl was writing at a time of spiritual and social disintegration on the eve of the First World War, when personal values and perceptions tended to be subsumed in a more generalized anguish and exaltation. Neo-romantic, early modernist, his rich, vitally sensuous poetry can be seen to mark the transition from impressionism to expressionism, but at the same time transcends such categories. Trakl's poetry has previously only been available in English in short selections or in anthologies. This bilingual edition, the most comprehensive to date, gives readers the chance to get to know Trakl's work more fully than ever before.
About the Author
Georg Trakl (1887-1914) was born into a middle-class family in Salzburg, Austria. He trained as a pharmacist at the University of Vienna where he started to experiment with drugs and began writing. The patronage of a periodical publisher and the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein enabled Trakl to concentrate on his poetry and he brought out his first volume in 1913. The following year he enlisted as a lieutenant in the army medical corps, however, he became very distraught after witnessing the agony of the seriously wounded soldiers. He was sent for observation to a military hospital, where he died of an overdose of cocaine, possibly inadvertently.
Alexander Stillmark is Emeritus Reader in German at University College London. He is the author of numerous comparative studies and articles, especially on Austrian nineteenth and twentieth century literature. Stillmark was awarded the translation prize by the Austrian Federal Chancellors office for Trakl's Poems and Prose.
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