Selected Poems and Letters
Last Books, 2019 - 252 pages
Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. Essays. Translated by Christopher Middleton. Although he received little recognition during his lifetime, Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) has come to be considered one of Europe's greatest poets. His visionary work--at once local and cosmic--has influenced such figures as Rilke, Heidegger, Celan, and Cixous. This bilingual volume contains translations of thirty-one poems and fourteen letters, as well as an Introduction, Notes, and commentary by the highly regarded poet and translator Christopher Middleton.
"This is an extraordinarily rich and powerful selected assemblage of Hölderlin's writings--poems and also letters--bilingual and translated with intense inwardness, situated by accompanying commentary and discussion in both the historical contingency of the poet's Lebenswelt and at the same time in his passional spirit-thinking as it evolves and informs his poetical experiments. There have been many previous versions into English of the most celebrated of these poems, but these here come unmistakably from the imaginative intelligence of another strenuously original poet, at exceedingly close connection with Hölderlin's wrestle with language, its upward reach into the fleeting semi-permanence of the divine presences and its probing downwards into the Germanistic roots of a language-culture at this time in historical and political turbulence. Middleton's full and thorough-going Introduction pre-empts earlier (and later) translation dalliance with spirit-fancy by his rigorous and persistent precision."--J.H. Prynne
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