Poetry. Translated from the German by Graham Foust and Samuel Frederick. One of the last books by post-war German poet and Georg Büchner Prize winner Ernst Meister—and the third to be translated into English by poet Graham Foust and scholar Samuel Frederick—OF ENTIRETY SAY THE SENTENCE is his most expansive book. With rich allusions to Hölderlin and Celan, these poems are staggering in their scope of mortality, time, and infinity.
"Meister's work is mesmerizingly succinct and elusive, but also ambitious to a degree almost unheard…"—Seth Abramson, Huffington Post
"Like his subject matter, Meister's writing is ominous, intangible, and inescapable."—Publishers Weekly
"Poetry translation is such tricky and unappreciated work—"translation is impossible," Graham Foust and Samuel Frederick declare in their introduction to a volume of Ernst Meister's work in which they've performed that exact miracle."—Arielle Greenberg, American Poetry Review
"The translators of WALLLESS SPACE were brave to take on Meister's dense and unusual poetry, and so far their work has been excellent…Foust and Frederick have preserved the phonetic elements of Meister's verse—assonance, alliteration, rhyme, anaphora—without sacrificing the poet's distilled diction and powerfully short dimeter and trimeter lines."—Christopher Shannon, Words without Borders
"With precision, Foust and Frederick intone Meister's philosophical and poetic torque, dialing in on the underlying struggle: the elusive, expanding surplus of time; the baffling dissonance keyed into life."—Douglas Piccinnini, The Volta
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