Long ignored, the fascinating Baltic-German author Werner Bergengruen (d. 1964), once even nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature, is reintroduced here through the English translation of a selection of his best short stories. The bulk of the book consists of his Death from Reval (1939), in which we are confronted with a variety of perspectives on death as intertwined with people’s lives in that Estonian city. We are invited to follow curious habits and attitudes by various survivors and thus learn to smile about and with death. In other novellas chosen from his extensive œuvre, Bergengruen offers thought-provoking and intriguing accounts about events in the Middle Ages and the early modern age concerning honor, love, freedom, marriage, power, and the importance of humility particularly in politics. Bergengruen emerges as an excellent observer of people’s values and ideals, shortcomings and failures, as his short stories provide timeless messages relevant for our lives, often couched in historical settings.
Publisher: Tallinn University Press / Tallinna Ülikooli Kirjastus
Category: Literary Criticism
This collection of essays presents the materials of the Third Annual Juri Lotman Days at Tallinn University in Estonia (3–5 June 2011). The participants discussed the semiotics of urban space from the perspective of the Tartu-Moscow School in comparison with contemporary approaches. This book consists of four sections. The articles in the first section discuss how “urban texts” function in modern and contemporary Baltic cultures. The papers in the second section focus on the semiotics of place in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian and Soviet culture from the perspective of linguistic poetics, cultural semiotics, and new materiality. The last two sections are devoted to the visual perceptions of the cityscape and their ideological interpretations as exemplified by Ukrainian, Estonian, Korean, Chinese, and North American illustrations.
Publisher: Peter Lang Gmbh, Internationaler Verlag Der Wissenschaften
This study examines the content, significance, and reception of Bergengruen's collection Die heile Welt and its relationship to his complete lyric work. It traces the origin and development of his heile Welt ideal and discusses the major themes in the poetry. Also included is an investigation of Bergengruen's attitude toward Italy and a detailed analysis of his «Lombardische Elegie».
Event of the time are a bit like Impressionist paintings ... which combine into a recognizable whole only when observed from a distance. --Gertrude Kolmar in a letter to her sister, October 22, 1939 So a picture of Gertrud Kolmar, a gifted Jewish writer struggling to sustain her art and family, emerges from these eloquent and allusive letters. Written in the stolen moments before her day as a forced laborer in a munitions factory began, the letters tell of Kolmar's move from the family home in Finkenkrug to a three-room flat in Berlin, which she and her father must soon share with other displaced Jews. They describe her factory work as a learning experience and assert, in the face of ever worsening conditions, that true art, never dependent on comfort or peace, is "capable of triumphing over ... time and place." These letters are a triumph of art, proclaiming the freedom of the human will amidst oppression. Though prevented by Nazi censorship from saying too much too directly, Kolmar still conveys the intensity and determination of her inner world, as well as the relentlessness of the outer world bent on crushing her. For its insight into the mind and soul of a poet submitting to and denying fate, and for its interior vision of one of history's darkest moments, My Gaze Is Turned Inward is a unique document of literary, historical, and spiritual power.
New Perspectives on Inner Emigration in German Literature, 1933-1945
Author: Neil H. Donahue
Publisher: Berghahn Books
After the end of Nazi era, many German writers claimed to have retreated into "Inner Emigration". This book presents the complexity of Inner Emigration through the analysis of individual cases of writers who, under constant pressure from a watchful dictatorship to conform and to collaborate, were caught between conscience and compromise.