Alive or Dead (Unicorn German Series) by Heinz Piontek

By Heinz Piontek

Dual-language edition
translation and creation through Richard Exner

Heinz Piontek was once a winner of the Georg Buchner Prize in 1976, an award given to German language writers of outstanding expertise. I hugely suggest having a look into the gathering of prize winners on bibliotik. The authors and their writings current nice publicity to German language literature to a global audience.

from Exner's Introduction:
The assortment Alive or useless , from which the contents
of this publication have been selected, is Piontek’s 6th quantity
of poetry. His previous poetry turns out to lie a long way at the back of regardless of
similarity in subject matter and angle. He X-rays his period, its slo­-
gans and ideologies; he states a few disagreeable truths. He is
eloquent yet now not wordy. He has develop into a grasp at slicing
his personal poems to the bone. His vocabulary of necessities and
essences is distilled from a tremendous repository of poetic language,
informed via culture. Pathos is infrequent; in the course of the final years
there is expanding proof of a benign scepticism, of meas­-
ured irony. but, while a remembered panorama, for instance,
pushes his visions into the fact, he does no longer desire a lengthy
hymnic line to exhibit praise.
Heinz Piontek is, as this quantity of originals and trans­-
lations exhibits, an terribly unsleeping poet, conscious and
conscientious; to him, his complete craft is neither regimen
nor sullen.

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Extra info for Alive or Dead (Unicorn German Series)

Example text

Alle sprechen vom uberfluss. Es soil wieder iiberfllissige Menschen geben. 50 2 Someone knows what's up. He's a student. Old people never tell anything but old tales. A seminarian and a usurer in St. Petersburg: The classics: splendid stuff for crossword puzzles. Nothing is quite so annoying as what is good. You cannot always just chase flies. To carry a hatchet under your coat will soon come in style. Everyone talks of affluence. I hear there are superfluous people again. 51 3 Taglich verliert jemand seine Unschuld unter Schlagstocken.

Es hat keinen Sinn mehr auszuwandern. Einfache Satze werden nicht einfacher. ) 52 3 Everyday the nightsticks rob someone’s innocence. Every day we understand each other less. Dailies are still delivered every day. Peace is a comedy. To emigrate no longer serves any purpose. Simple statements don’t get any simpler. 53 Ich, Anton Pawlowitsch simuliere Gesundheit, putze meinen Zwicker, beobachte die Unkurierbaren. Als Einziger meiner Gilde sah ich das Weisse im Auge von Deportierten, notierte Schreie, Kniippelwunden, die Warmequelle des Mondes auf der Eisflache Sachalin.

Verzweifelt bitte ich um den Mut der Verzweiflung. Gluck haben: keinen Schuss Pulver wert sein. Ich lege die Maske ab. Niemand erkennt mich. Schwalben kann man vom Himmel herunterholen. Doch kann man sie zwingen, nur in einer Richtung zu fliegen? Den Kampf zwischen Leiden und Tod wird das Leiden gewinnen. Der Hang steiler, das Wegende scharfer, das Blau reiner: Schritt um Schritt. Sprache ist Luft fiir mich. Unanfechtbarkeit im Luftleeren. Die letzte Klarheit ist nichtssagend. Das Klare ist nicht das Unmogliche, sondern das Unmogliche ist das Klare.

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