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Holderlin: A Play in Two Acts (German List)

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Holderlin: A Play in Two Acts (German List) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The work of German poet Frederich Hölderlin (1770–1843) has inspired countless poets and philosophers from Paul Celan to Rainer Maria Rilke to Martin Heidegger and Friedrich Nietzsche. Yet, despite the international renown and respect his hymns and elegies have since earned for their lyric style and innovative approach to Greek myth, his work was not widely celebrated during his lifetime. Diagnosed with a severe case of hypochondria at a young age, he was beset by mental illness for much of his life, living the final decades in the care of a carpenter. Though the details of Hölderlins life inspired the acute awareness of the lonely human condition that is at the center of many of his poems, there has previously been no serious biography of his life.

            In Hölderlin, well-known German writer Peter Weiss finally brings to the page the life and times of one of Germanys greatest poets. Weiss explains that he was motivated “to describe something of the conflict that arises in a person who suffers to the point of madness from the injustices, the humiliations in his society, who completely supports the revolutionary upheavals, and yet does not find the praxis with which the misery can be remedied.” The resulting biography is a powerful celebration of the intense and influential poems of Hölderlin and the life behind them. 

           “One of the most significant works of postwar German literature. . . . Exhilaratingly strange, compelling, and original. Readers who dare to enter this demanding verbal landscape will not come away empty-handed.”Bookforum, on Weisss The Aesthetics of Resistance

 

Synopsis:

The work of German poet Frederich Hölderlin (1770-1843) has inspired countless poets and philosophers from Paul Celan to Rainer Maria Rilke to Martin Heidegger and Friedrich Nietzsche. Yet, despite the international renown and respect his hymns and elegies have since earned for their lyric style and innovative approach to Greek myth, his work was not widely celebrated during his lifetime. Diagnosed with a severe case of hypochondria at a young age, he was beset by mental illness for much of his life, living the final decades in the care of a carpenter.

      In Hölderlin, distinguished German playwright Peter Weiss brings to the page the life and times of one of Germanys greatest poets. Like Trotsky in Exile, Hölderlin presents a biography in the form of a two-act drama. Following its opening in 1971 in Stuttgart, the play was staged numerous times in Germany and Switzerland, and as Robert Cohen explains in his introduction, it was “greeted by accolades as well as by intense criticism since Weiss had dared to revise the image of one of the great heroic figures of German Culture.” Weiss explains that he was motivated “to describe something of the conflict that arises in a person who suffers to the point of madness from the injustices, the humiliations in his society, who completely supports the revolutionary upheavals, and yet does not find the praxis with which the misery can be remedied.”

      The resulting dramatic biography is as captivating and divisive today as it was forty years ago, and it has yet to be matched by any other biographic treatment of Hölderlin. Presented here for the first time in English, Weisss play is a lyrical investigation of the intense and influential poems of Hölderlin and the turbulent life behind them.

About the Author

Peter Weiss (1916-82) was a German playwright, novelist, filmmaker, and painter. His works include the play Marat/Sade and The New Trial and the novels The Shadow of the Body of the Coachman and The Conversation of the Three Walkers. Jon Swan is the author of two collections of poems and a collection of one-act plays. Carl Weber is Professor Emeritus of Directing and Dramaturgy at Stanford University.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Robert Cohen

Hölderlin: A Play in Two Acts by Peter Weiss

Afterword by Peter Weiss

Product Details

ISBN:
9781906497729
Author:
Weiss, Peter
Publisher:
Seagull Books
Subject:
Continental european
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
SB-The German List
Publication Date:
20101231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
219
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5 in

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Holderlin: A Play in Two Acts (German List) New Hardcover
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Product details 219 pages Seagull Books - English 9781906497729 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

The work of German poet Frederich Hölderlin (1770-1843) has inspired countless poets and philosophers from Paul Celan to Rainer Maria Rilke to Martin Heidegger and Friedrich Nietzsche. Yet, despite the international renown and respect his hymns and elegies have since earned for their lyric style and innovative approach to Greek myth, his work was not widely celebrated during his lifetime. Diagnosed with a severe case of hypochondria at a young age, he was beset by mental illness for much of his life, living the final decades in the care of a carpenter.

      In Hölderlin, distinguished German playwright Peter Weiss brings to the page the life and times of one of Germanys greatest poets. Like Trotsky in Exile, Hölderlin presents a biography in the form of a two-act drama. Following its opening in 1971 in Stuttgart, the play was staged numerous times in Germany and Switzerland, and as Robert Cohen explains in his introduction, it was “greeted by accolades as well as by intense criticism since Weiss had dared to revise the image of one of the great heroic figures of German Culture.” Weiss explains that he was motivated “to describe something of the conflict that arises in a person who suffers to the point of madness from the injustices, the humiliations in his society, who completely supports the revolutionary upheavals, and yet does not find the praxis with which the misery can be remedied.”

      The resulting dramatic biography is as captivating and divisive today as it was forty years ago, and it has yet to be matched by any other biographic treatment of Hölderlin. Presented here for the first time in English, Weisss play is a lyrical investigation of the intense and influential poems of Hölderlin and the turbulent life behind them.

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