In Hora Mortis / Under the Iron of the Moon: Poems

Overview

"Already recognized as a champion of neglected genius, Reidel continues his admirable project by providing American readers with the early verse works of the modern prose master, Thomas Bernhard. This is a beautiful and necessary book. The translations themselves immediately strike me as both accurate and inspired, and are accompanied by a highly readable and erudite introduction which vividly brings to life the young Bernhard and his efforts (alongside older contemporaries such as Krolow, Eich, Bachmann, and Celan) to recreate for literary and

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Overview

"Already recognized as a champion of neglected genius, Reidel continues his admirable project by providing American readers with the early verse works of the modern prose master, Thomas Bernhard. This is a beautiful and necessary book. The translations themselves immediately strike me as both accurate and inspired, and are accompanied by a highly readable and erudite introduction which vividly brings to life the young Bernhard and his efforts (alongside older contemporaries such as Krolow, Eich, Bachmann, and Celan) to recreate for literary and moral purposes the great language the Nazis destroyed."—Franz Wright, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry

"Thomas Bernhard was first and possibly foremost a poet, belonging in the company of Georg Trakl and Paul Celan, yet his poetry has remained unremarked and curiously unattended until now, with the publication of James Reidel's masterful translations, wherein Bernhard's German shimmers into an English commensurate with his strangely comedic and mystical cris de coeur. If Bernhard is, as he has been called, 'an instrumentalist of language,' then Reidel has written for that language a symphony of lyric art, and in so doing, rescued for the world a major twentieth-century poet."—Carolyn Forch, author of Blue Hour: Poems

"While Thomas Bernhard's early works of poetry are relatively unknown, they show the ingenious beginnings of the author's ironic and morbid vision, influenced by the poetry of Rilke, Celan, and the expressionist Trakl. James Reidel is an accomplished translator in addition to being a well-known poet himself and he does an excellent job of transposing the poems into a proper English context while preserving the original German sense."—Matthias Konzett, Tufts University, author of Rhetoric of The National Dissent in Thomas Bernhard, Peter Handke and Elfriede Jelinek

"I am very taken with James Reidel's translations of these two remarkable volumes of the great Austrian novelist and playwright Thomas Bernhard, who began his career, in the 1950s, as a poet. Here we have these unknown but powerful poems carefully translated and well introduced."—Richard Howard, series editor of the Lockert Library of Poetry in Translation, and author of Inner Voices: Selected Poems, 1963-2003

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Editorial Reviews

New York Sun - Eric Ormsby
For all their acrid elegance, [these poems] are compelling because Thomas Bernhard wrote them. . . . [T]hey . . . show how deeply Bernhard, the caustic besmircher of the native nest, was rooted in the soil of his homeland. Every line suggests that his love of it was almost equal to his loathing.
From the Publisher
"For all their acrid elegance, [these poems] are compelling because Thomas Bernhard wrote them. . . . [T]hey . . . show how deeply Bernhard, the caustic besmircher of the native nest, was rooted in the soil of his homeland. Every line suggests that his love of it was almost equal to his loathing."—Eric Ormsby, New York Sun

New York Sun
For all their acrid elegance, [these poems] are compelling because Thomas Bernhard wrote them. . . . [T]hey . . . show how deeply Bernhard, the caustic besmircher of the native nest, was rooted in the soil of his homeland. Every line suggests that his love of it was almost equal to his loathing.
— Eric Ormsby
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Thomas Bernhard wrote the novels "Gargoyles" and "Woodcutters" and the play "Heldenplatz". James Reidel is a poet, translator, and scholar.

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Table of Contents

Translator's Preface vii
In Hora Mortis 1
Under the Iron of the Moon 45
Index of First Lines 161

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