H. G. Adler: A Life in Many Worlds

H. G. Adler: A Life in Many Worlds

by Peter Filkins

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Overview

The biography of H.G. Adler (1910-88) is the story of a survivor of Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and two other concentration camps who not only lived through the greatest cataclysm of the 20th century, but someone who also devoted his literary and scholarly career to telling the story of those who perished in over two dozen books of fiction, poetry, history, sociology, and religion. And yet for much of his life he remained almost entirely unknown. A writer's writer, a scholar of seminal, pioneering works on the Holocaust, a renowned radio essayist in postwar Germany, a last representative of the Prague Circle of literature headed by Kafka, a key contributor to the prosecution in the trial of Adolf Eichmann, Adler was a man of his time whose times lived through him. His is the story of many others, but also one that is singularly his own. And at its heart lies a profound story of love and perseverance amid the loss of his first wife, Gertrud Klepetar, who accompanied her mother to the gas chamber in Auschwitz, and the courtship and extended correspondence with Bettina Gross, a Prague artist who escaped to the Britain, only to later learn that her mother had also been in Theresienstadt with Adler before her eventual death in Auschwitz. His delivery of a lecture in Theresienstadt commemorating Kafka's sixtieth birthday, and with Kafka's favorite sister present; the nurturing of a younger generation of artists and intellectuals, including the Israeli artist Jehuda Bacon and the Serbian novelist Ivan Ivanji; the preservation of Viktor Ullmann's compositions and his opera The Emperor of Atlantis, only to see them premiered decades later to world acclaim; and the penury of postwar life while churning out the novels, poetry, and scholarship that would make his reputation - all of these are part of a life survived in the moment, but dedicated to the future, and that of a man committed to helping human dignity survive in his time and that to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190222383
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 03/12/2019
Pages: 424
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author



Peter Filkins is an award-winning translator and poet. He has translated three novels by H.G. Adler, Panorama, The Journey, and The Wall, as well as the collected poems of Ingeborg Bachmann. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Leon Levy Center for Biography, the DAAD, and the American Academy in Berlin, he is the Richard B. Fisher Professor of Literature at Bard College at Simon's Rock.

Table of Contents



Acknowledgements
1 - The Lecture
2 - The Exile
3 - The Wanderers
4 - The Cataclysm
5 - The Flight
6 - The Railroad
7 - The Ghetto
8 - The Human Day
9 - One Thousand Paces
10 - The Letter Writers
11 - The Escape
12 - The Survivor
13 - The Writer
14 - The Witness
15 - The Trial
16 - The Artist
17 - The Poet
18 - The Man
Index

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