By Durs Grünbein
This landmark choice of essays through one of many world's maximum residing authors makes Durs Grünbein's wide-ranging and multifaceted prose to be had in English for the 1st time, and is a welcome supplement to Ashes for Breakfast, his first book-length choice of poetry in English.
Covering twenty years, The Bars of Atlantis unfurls the total breadth and intensity of Grünbein's essayistic genius. Memoiristic and autobiographical items that introduce Grünbein, the guy and the writer, and inform the tale of the making of a poet and philosopher towards the tip of a century marked by means of worldwide political strife, unparalleled human anguish, lengthy many years of totalitarian rule, and, in its ultimate area, the sunrise of a brand new, post–Cold struggle international order; essays that target Grünbein's significant philosophical and aesthetic issues, corresponding to the intersection of paintings and technology, literature and biology; prolonged reflections at the existential, cultural, political, and moral import of the poet's craft within the modern global; and, eventually, explorations of the which means of classical antiquity for the present—all give a contribution to making.
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Extra info for The Bars of Atlantis: Selected Essays
Hölderlin leaves us in doubtless so far as we ourselves, his studious apprentices—long for the reason that emancipated from the Muses’ tutelage—are involved, whilst he writes: an indication we're, meaningless with no discomfort we're and feature approximately misplaced our language in exile. Our universal language, the one realm within which we people can really convey ourselves as artistic and energetic beings, used to be past doubt. complicated because the distribution of portfolios one of the 9 sisters could have been: with the exception of Urania, the single accustomed to astronomy, they have been all musical, and every performed an software. every one was once additionally uniquely endowed with rhetorical presents starting from comedy to tragedy, from the dance track to the heroic epic. What all of them had in universal, even though, was once a shared feeling for language, a shared musical sensibility, which predestined them for the guardianship of a few of the paintings types. If we hint the family tree all of the long ago, what we discover, speed all blood ties, is yet this one courting: that of track and poetry—my current topic. It used to be Nietzsche who insisted at the start of Athenian tragedy from the spirit of song. however the inversion of this genesis, too, has much to assert for itself. it may well simply in addition be that an identical lips that produced the first actual flute sound had formerly murmured a couple of poetic strains into the wind. The notice track nonetheless keeps its double that means this present day. don't be deceived via this kind of completely philological coinage as lyric. no one can turn out what got here first: the lyre, that stringed software, curved as superbly as a peacock feather, or the half-spoken, half-sung textual content in stanza shape. If doubtful, ponder the voice the older software. It was once one and an identical human self that melodically coordinated its emotions in notice and sound. either hand and voice belonged to a similar physique, and an analogous sensibility set them in movement. this can clarify why to this present day poetry is the one artwork shape that straddles each threshold—the threshold among language and intonation, pictura and poesis, and, final yet now not least, writing and signification. Its innate discreteness forbids it to make an excessive amount of fuss over the variations; outstanding a stability is its tough daily enterprise. Its self-confidence stems from the understanding that during its personal quiet manner and undisturbed in its personal realm it humbly follows a similar principles as the entire different arts. not just at the authority of the Bible (“In the start was once the observe . . . ”), yet at the authority of aesthetic family tree in addition does it deserve the appellation of firstborn. No much less a determine than Igor Stravinsky claimed that track was once the youngest of the humanities. “If we return extra than the fourteenth century, we come across such a lot of sensible hindrances that even in decoding musical ratings we need to renounce ourselves to conjecturing. ” thankfully, so far as all this can be involved, poetry is a veritable Sunday baby. to start with, its written culture reaches a lot additional again and with as a lot constancy to the unique as should be wanted. And moment, in its case, all condolences come too past due besides.