Montag, 11. Dezember 2017

Read Early Sonnets By Walter Benjamin, for the First Time in English

That Walter Benjamin wrote an extensive series of sonnets to mourn the death of Christoph Friedrich Heinle, a promising poet who took his own life at the age of 20, days after the First World War had begun, is not widely known. Benjamin worked on these sonnets for a long time, possibly a decade. Now and then he would read from them to his household circle; in 1923 he thought to send samples to Florens Christian Rang, a distinguished older man with whom he had come to be on excellent terms and who might have passed them on to a prospective publisher. But the poems appear to have stayed with Benjamin. They were among the writings he eventually entrusted to Georges Bataille in 1940 for safekeeping, when continuing in France was impossible. Publication would wait until 46 years after Benjamin’s death; the present translation makes them available to readers of English for the first time. ... [mehr]

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