Darkness and a Little Light

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New Directions Publishing, 1993 - Fiction - 128 pages
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A P.O.W. in Russia after WWII, Bobrowski (1917-1965) returned to his forever-changed native province, former East Prussia, in 1949. His lost homeland - which he called by the region's ancient name of Sarmartia - haunts all his work. Full of longing and an astonishing poetic beauty, his stories are visionary elegies to vanished ways of life. Some of the stories, set in the nineteenth century or in the darkness of WWII, are directly elegiac. But tales relating the dreary, oversynthesized reality of East German life in the '50s and '60s are also shot through with piercing traces of an older, more richly atmospheric world of nature and memory. Complex, melancholic, and dreamlike, the stories of Darkness and a Little Light have never before been available in English. In the hands of distinguished translator Leila Vennewitz they attain their full measure of beauty and mystery.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Short, allegorical, and deceptively simple stories that make use of the author's experiences as a displaced person. Bobrowski (Shadow Lands: Selected Poems, not reviewed) has a mixed Lithuanian ... Read full review


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About the author (1993)

She was a writer, translator, and freelance editior whose writing appeared in The Paris Review, The New Republic, and The New York Times Book Review.

Leila Vennewitz was the distinguished translator of Heinrich Boll and other postwar German writers, including Jurek Becker and Martin Walser. She won numerous awards for her translations. She died in 2007.

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