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Before the Invention of Paradise

by Ludwig Steinherr

Bilingual English / German edition

Translated from the German by Richard Dove-->
Introduced by Jean Boase-Beier-->
Bilingual edition: German/English

Part of our Visible Poets series edited by Jean Boase-Beier

Ludwig Steinherr is one of the most compelling new voices to have emerged in Germany since the late 1980s and this selection — the first to appear in English — from his 10 poetry collections published between 1985 and 2005 reflects the breadth and depth of his writing, ranging from its post-Celanian darkness to its insistence on light.

Ludwig reads:
Mit Einer Tüte Obst Im Regen
Auf Meinem Schoss
Vom Geist
Sterbegedicht Oder Geschichte Rückwärts

Ludwig Steinherr's poetry, both profound and accessible, seems an obvious candidate for English translation. For one thing, it gives us a picture of the things that concern many modern German poets: its themes are silence, memory, knowing and the impossibility of knowing, the everyday and what is beyond. It also shares with much contemporary German poetry its spareness of style, lack of ornamentation and even of punctuation. Afterlife is as important as backstory. And so textual gaps, that play so important and poignant a role in modern German poetry, are here not just silent monuments for loss, but they are also the place for the reader to enter into.

Richard Dove's translations are outstanding. In this volume, you can read his English versions alone or alongside the original poems: either way, you get that unique combination of the poet's and the translator's work that makes good translated poetry so rewarding.

Jean Boase-Beier

ISBN: 978-1904614-45-6 (pbk), 978-1904614-94-4 (hbk)
216 x 138 mm, 160 pages
Published December 2010

» About Ludwig Steinherr