Poetry. Translated from the German by Graham Foust and Samuel Frederick. With their tortuous syntax and distinctive musicality, Ernst Meister's brief, afflicted poems attend to the writer's lifelong obsessions with being and mortality. Compact, abstract, and at times koan-like, their language might be described as an attempt at a written image of thought. First published in 1976 and appearing now for the first time in English in its entirety, Meister's penultimate collection delivers a poetry comprised of equal parts philosophical rigor and lived experience. Wehad a face-off in the light. Dustfloated around us, tenderly.
Alex Estes @ The Rumpus
Ernst Meister (1911-1979) was born in Hagen, Germany, and studied first theology, then literature, art history, and philosophy (the latter under Karl Löwith and Hans- Georg Gadamer) at various German universities. After the publication of his first book in 1932, he published no poetry for two decades, a silent spell that ultimately gave way to the prolific last third of his life, over the course of which he produced more than sixteen volumes of verse as well as numerous other literary and visual works. Often compared to Paul Celan because of the brevity and difficulty of his poems, Meister tends toward a more abstract existentialism that renders his work both intensely emotional and inimitably strange. Having written outside the dominant literary circles of his time, he remains relatively unknown, though he was posthumously awarded the most prestigious award for German literature, the Georg Büchner Prize, having been informed of the honor just days before his death. Graham Foust and Samuel Frederick have translated Meister's informal trilogy which includes IN TIME'S RIFT (Wave Books, 2012), WALLLESS SPACE (Wave Books, 2014), and OF ENTIRETY SAY THE SENTENCE (Wave Books, 2015).Author City: Hagen GER