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The Poetry of Survival

Post-war Poets of Central and Eastern Europe

Bertolt Brecht, Vladimir Holan and Peter Huchel

Edited by Daniel Weissbort

Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • Authors
  • Daniel Weissbort’s anthology is an outstanding guide to the major poets who found a voice for the experience of survival. He focuses on the first post-war generation of Central and East European poets, who wrote in direct response to a war of unprecedented destruction in Europe. Their poetry, especially that of writers in the countries which came under Soviet domination, has both fascinated Western readers and has exercised a vital influence on many poets now writing in English.

    Many of these twenty-eight poets first came to Western attention twenty or more years ago through translations published in Weissbort’s pioneering magazine Modern Poetry in Translation, and in the Penguin Modern European Poets series. Here Daniel Weissbort brings that generation of diverse poets together for the first time, setting their work in context and tracing their links and affinities.

    The poets:

    Yehuda Amichai – Ingeborg Bachmann – Johannes Bobrowski – Bertolt Brecht – Nina Cassian – Paul Celan – Hans Magnus Enzensberger – Jerzy Ficowski – Zbigniew Herbert – Vladimír Holan – Miroslav Holub – Peter Huchel – Tymoteusz Karpowicz – Edvard Kocbek – Reiner Kunze – Artur Miedzyrzecki – Slavko Mihalic – Czeslaw Milosz – Ágnes Nemes Nagy – Dan Pagis – János Pilinszky – Vasko Popa – Tadeusz Rózewicz – Nelly Sachs – Leopold Staff – Anna Swirszczynska – Wislawa Szymborska – Natan Zach

    Bertolt Brecht
    Bertoldt Brecht was born in 1898 in Munich and one of the most significant German writers of the 20th Century. Brecht objected to Germany's part in World War I (as he saw his classmates be "swallowed by the army") and was almost expelled from school for an essay criticising his country's ... read more
    Peter Huchel
    Peter Huchel (1903–1981) was born in Lichterfelde near Berlin. He studied literature and philosophy in Berlin, Freiburg and Vienna. His poetry has its roots in the native Brandenburg from which he was exiled in the 1970s when he was ‘sent West’ after long official neglect. After his dismissal from the editorship ... read more
    Daniel Weissbort
    Daniel Weissbort was born in 1935. He read History at Cambridge and did postgraduate work in the politics of literature during the post-Stalin period. He has translated many modern Russian poets, including Nikolai Zabolotsky and Yunna Morits. He edited Ted Hughes: Selected Translations (2006). He is Emeritus Professor of English and ... read more
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