Skip Rhudy

aviation, travel, books

Wolfgang Hilbig’s first collected volume of poetry, published by S. Fischer, was titled abwesenheit — in English absence. Hilbig grew up in East Germany, where writing and individual expression of any kind was subject to review and control by state functionaries. Michael Opitz, of one of Wolfgang Hilbig’s biographers, went digging through East German Stasi […]

Recently browsing the New Direction’s author list, I saw a title by Nathanial Tarn, The Hölderliniae. There is deep image density in Hölderlin’s poetry, the meter unregulated, and no particular dedication to rhyme; his syntactic playfulness upsets expectation when reading. I quote Tarn: It took a hundred years for Hölderlin to be recognized not only […]

How the mistakes and missteps of two men, one nearly 60 years old and the other 30, contributed to — or even caused — the English language debut of one of the most renowned and powerful German writers in recent history to be delayed by a quarter of a century: In the fall of 1989 […]