Primal Vision

Poetry by Gottfried Benn

Translated by E. B. Ashton

Edited by Gottfried Benn

Gottfried Benn (1886-1957) occupies a position in modern German literature often compared to that of T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound in English. This volume presents a comprehensive anthology of the author’s finest work-poetry (with the German originals en face), short stories, a scene from one of his plays, essays and autobiographical writings, including a unique insight into the German intellectual metamorphosis before, under and after Hitler. And in a long introduction, the editor, E. B. Ashton, places Benn in the perspective of recent German history and gives an account of his life––a dramatic and moving story in its own right. By profession a physician, Benn was fascinated by the philosophical aspects of many branches of science, and over the years he wrote a number of extraordinary essays in which the poet’s intuitive vision was accorded the utmost imaginative freedom. These “primal visions” of the 1920s anticipated in certain ways the positions of such writers today as Beckett and Genet, the French “antinovelists” and the American “Beats.”

Editions: Paperback

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Paperback (published January 1, 1970)

ISBN
9780811200080
Price US
21.95

Gottfried Benn

20th century German poet, novelist and essayist