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Darkness Spoken: The Collected Poems of Ingeborg Bachmann (German Edition) (German) Paperback – October 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A contemporary of Paul Celan, born in 1926, in 1953 received the poetry prize from Grupe 47. Her other awards include the Georg Buchner prize, the Berlin Critics Prize, the Bremen Award, and the Austrian State Prize for Literature. Filkins is a poet whose poems, translations, and reviews have appeared in such places as Agni, The American Poetry Review, and The Harvard Review. He teaches at the Bard College at Simon's Rock.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Zephyr Press; Bilingual edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: German
  • ISBN-10: 0939010844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939010844
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,038,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A reader on September 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
Darkness Spoken: The Collected Poems of Ingeborg Bachmann

The hauntingly beautiful poems in this volume give expression to a deep and often brooding poetic consciousness which is one and the same as language. Set free--the word is not casually chosen--language reconfigures itself in an act of renewal, achieving a new vitality. Thus, ultimately, no matter how somber they may be, in their very existence, the poems strike a note of historic victory over all of those forces of darkenss that surround the poet.

"Libraries," a poem from 1945 - 1956, is revealing of the quality and historic importance of the poems:

"The shelves sag./The volumes are weighted down with the past./ Their sweat is dust./ The impulse is rigidity./ They no longer sturggle./ They have saved themselves/upon the island of knowledge./Soometimes they've lost their conscience./Here and there, protruding/from them, human fingers/point directly towards life/or twards heaven.

Clearly, language is mired in the past, is petrified, no longer engaged in any vitality-giving struggle, and no longer engaged in acts of conscience. The final four lines are mysterious; but one possibility is that even within this stagnant heap of language, encouraging human signs are to be found. These, surely, are the inspiration for Ingeborg Bachmann's poetry, here collected.

This reviewer is in no position to comapare Filkins' translations with the original German texts that accompany them. In their own right, at the very least, they are pleasant enough. However, they should really serve as a crutch for the naive German reader to enter the original texts.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By VON-1919 on July 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
SPECIAL, WITH AN EUROPEAN FLAVOR!
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Lit. on December 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ingeborg Bachmann was one of the best German speaking poets. The comparison with Sylvia Plath is not unjustified, as reading this collection of poems will show.

Bachmann is a versatile writer, very much in command of style and diction. Her business is not only personal; her writing has a strong political and social perspective as well, and is therefore not locked in time.

I recommend to stay away from reading Bachmann right before going to sleep at night.
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