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German Literature

Robert Musil: Thinking about Water

Excerpt from Robert Musil’s “Man Without Qualities, ” Volume One. Translated by Eithne Wilkins and Ernst KaiserPicador (1979) “A chapter that can be skipped by anyone who has no very high opinion of thinking as an occupation MEANWHILE Ulrich was...

/ November 18, 2012

Possibility and Reality in Robert Musil

One of the key passages in Musil’s novel “Man without Qualities” (1930) explains why Ulrich, the main character, has no qualities. He lives as much in the realm of the possible as  he lives grounded in a sense of reality....

/ November 18, 2012

Robert Musil

Robert Musil (1880-1942) is one of my favorite German writers; he has a very subtle irony and thinks like a philosopher. He is not very well known in the English-speaking world,  so here is a short description of his life...

/ November 17, 2012

Gottfried Benn

The following description of Gottfried Benn’s life is quoted from:  http://www.greeninteger.com) “The son of a Lutheran minister and a mother of French-Swiss extraction, Gottfried Benn was raised in the small German village of Mansfeld, in an area which is now...

/ February 29, 2012

Trakl: Offenbarung und Untergang

Seltsam sind die nächtigen Pfade des Menschen. Da ich nachtwandelnd an steinernen Zimmern hinging und es brannte in jedem ein stilles Lämpchen, ein kupferner Leuchter, und da ich frierend aufs Lager hinsank, stand zu Häupten wieder der schwarze Schatten der...

/ February 29, 2012

Trakl – Gedichte

Grodek 2. Fassung Am Abend tönen die herbstlichen Wälder Von tödlichen Waffen, die goldnen Ebenen Und blauen Seen, darüber die Sonne Düstrer hinrollt; umfängt die Nacht Sterbende Krieger, die wilde Klage Ihrer zerbrochenen Münder. Doch stille sammelt im Weidengrund Rotes...

/ February 29, 2012

Franz Kafka: Before The Law

BEFORE THE LAW stands a doorkeeper. To this doorkeeper there comes a man from the country and prays for admittance to the Law. But the doorkeeper says that he cannot grant admittance at the moment. The man thinks it over...

/ February 28, 2012