Poet of Expressionist Berlin: The Life and Work of Georg Heym

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10, 1991. jan. 1. - 305 oldal
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Georg Heym (1887-1912) rebelled against his conservative background--his father was a Prussian, legal official--and was an explosive presence in Berlin bohemian circles from 1910 until his early death. Shortly before, in a review of the only volume of his poetry published in his lifetime, a Berlin critic likened him to Arthur Rimbaud and named him the most outstanding young poet in Germany.
Heym is celebrated for his concentrated, tightly-strung poetry which contains disturbing images of past and future, individual and mass destruction and mania. In this extensive critical and biographical study, Patrick Bridgwater discusses the whole of Heym's poetic output--over forty poems are quoted in full in the original German, with accompanying English prose translations--and shows that Heym's poetic achievement is considerably more varied and richer than its reputation hitherto. In addition, he gives an account of Heym as a playwright, and as the author of some of the most powerful short stories written in German that can stand beside those of Kleist and Kafka.
Heym kept a series of journals and diaries, and copious use is made of these, of Heym's correspondence, and of the numerous memoirs by his fellow poets and writers, to build up a full-length portrait of the personality of Georg Heym, and to give an account of the multifarious literary and pictorial sources of his imagination, which included Holderlin, Buchner, Shelley, Keats, Baudelaire, Van Gogh and Munch.
Bridgwater ends his study with a discussion of Heym's place in the general topography of neo-romanticism and German Expressionism, and cautions against too strict a confinement within Expressionist categories of the work of one of the major voices of early twentieth-century German literature.

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