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Before the Invention of Paradise by Ludwig Steinherr, Jean Boase-Beier

Before the Invention of Paradise


Part of the Visible Poets Series

RRP £13.99


Before the Invention of Paradise by Ludwig Steinherr, Jean Boase-Beier

Ludwig Steinherr's poetry, both profound and accessible, seems an obvious candidate for English translation. For one thing, it gives us a picture of the things that concern many modern German poets: its themes are silence, memory, knowing and the impossibility of knowing, the everyday and what is beyond. It also shares with much contemporary German poetry its spareness of style, lack of ornamentation and even of punctuation. Afterlife is as important as backstory. And so textual gaps, that play so important and poignant a role in modern German poetry, are here not just silent monuments for loss, but they are also the place for the reader to enter into. Richard Dove's translations are outstanding. In this volume, you can read his English versions alone or alongside the original poems: either way, you get that unique combination of the poet's and the translator's work that makes good translated poetry so rewarding.A Jean Boase-Beier

About the Author

LUDWIG STEINHERR (author) was born in Munich in 1962, where he still lives, and studied philosophy at the University of Munich (writing an M.A. thesis on Hegel's Wissenschaft der Logik and a much-noted doctorate on Hegel and Quine, Holismus, Existenz und IdentitatA . Ein systematischer Vergleich zwischen Quine und Hegel). He is now a free-lance writer and lecturer in philosophy at the University of Eichstatt. Steinherr has worked as an essayist, a reviewer, a juror, a translator (of Michael Hamburger, among others), and as an editor, co-founding the influential journal 'Das Gedicht' with Anton G. Leitner in 1993. But it is as a poet that he has written his way into the front rank of contemporary German writers, one milestone here being the selection of his poem 'Sage' (Legend) as Gedicht des JahresA (Poem of the Year) by the Autoren-initiative Koeln in 1987. The present volume has been selected from his first ten collections, beginning with his 1985 debut volume, 'Fluganweisung' (Flight Instructions), up to 'Die Hand im Feuer' (The Hand in the Fire), 2005; since then he has published two further poetry collections, 'Von Stirn zu Gestirn' (From Brow to Constellation) in 2007 and 'Kometenjagd' (Hunting for Comets) in 2009. Steinherr's poems have also been published widely in magazines and anthologies in Germany and abroad - in Raymond Hargreaves' 'Young Poets of Germany' (Forest Books, 1994), for instance, and in the 1994 'Agenda' German Issue, edited by Michael Hamburger and Richard Dove - and have received a number of awards, including the' Leonce-und-Lena-Forderpreis (1993), the Buchpreis des Verbandes Evangelischer Buchereien (1999) and the Hermann-Hesse-Forderpreis (1999). They have also been translated into various languages, including French and Czech. Steinherr was elected a fellow of the Bayerische Akademie der Schonen Kunste (Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts) in 2003. RICHARD DOVE (translator) was born in Bath in 1954, read Modern Languages at Oxford and taught German and English language and literature at the Universities of Exeter, Regensburg and Wales before moving to Munich in 1987, where he has since worked as a writer and lecturer. His early poems were recently collected in the bilingual volume 'Aus einem frueheren Leben' (From an Earlier Life. Lyrikedition, 2000, 2003), translated inter alia by Hans Magnus Enzensberger and Reiner Kunze. Since moving to Germany, he has written his poems very largely in German: 'Farbfleck auf einem Mondrian-Bild. Gedichte' (Speck of Paint on a Mondrian. Poems. Edition Thaleia, 2002); 'Am Fluss der Wohlgeruche. Gedichte' (By the Fragrant River. Poems. Rimbaud Verlag, 2008); and 'Syrische Skyline. Gedichte' (Syrian Skyline. Poems. Rimbaud Verlag, 2009). He also translates into English. Apart from this Steinherr selection, Dove has published versions of poems by Michael Kruger, 'Diderot's Cat. Selected Poems' (Diderots Katze. Ausgewaehlte Gedichte. Carcanet, 1993 / Braziller, 1994) and 'At Night, Beneath Trees' (Nachts, Unter Baeumen. Braziller 1998); Ernst Meister, 'Not Orpheus. Selected Poems' (Nicht Orpheus. Ausgewahlte Gedichte. Carcanet, 1996); Friederike Mayroecker, 'Raving Language. Selected Poems 1946-2006' (Rasende Sprache. Ausgewahlte Gedichte. Carcanet, 2007), and others. His editions include a bilingual collection by Joachim Sartorius, 'Ice Memory. Selected Poems' (Carcanet, 2006), translated inter alia by Robert Gray, Michael Hamburger, Christopher Middleton, Nathaniel Tarn and Rosmarie Waldrop. JEAN BOASE-BEIER (introducer) was born in Huddersfield in 1954, and studied at the universities of Manchester and Regensburg. She taught Linguistics and German in Regensburg before moving to the University of East Anglia in 1991, where she is Professor of Literature and Translation. She has translated Ernst Meister and (with Anthony Vivis) Rose Auslaender for Arc Publications, and has published widely on stylistics and literary translation.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th November 2010


Ludwig Steinherr, Jean Boase-Beier

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Author 'Like for Like'


Arc Publications


160 pages


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