By Michael / Young, Christopher / Leeder, Karen Eskin
Durs Grunbein is the main major poet writing in Germany at the present time. No different glossy German poet has written from such an emphatically ecu standpoint, and this quantity seeks to introduce him to the English-speaking global. Written by means of a line-up of overseas students, the amount offers hugely readable and wide-ranging essays on Grunbein's significant oeuvre, complemented through especially commissioned fabric and an interview with the poet. It covers the German and ecu traditions, reminiscence and cityscapes, the typical sciences, demise, love, the visible arts, and presence
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240. 15 On the poeta doctus in contemporary German poetry, see especially Karen Leeder, ‘The “poeta doctus” and the New German Poetry. 1 (2002), 51–67. 16 On the notion of ‘distant reading’, see Franco Moretti, ‘Conjectures on World Literature’, New Left Review, 1 (2000), 54–68 (p. 57). 17 For insightful treatments of the twofold question of Europe and Europeanism, see for instance: Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Ach Europa! Wahrnehmungen aus sieben Ländern (Frankfurt a. : Suhrkamp, 1989); Peter Sloterdijk, Falls Europa erwacht (Frankfurt a.
G. Andreas Netwich, ‘Der strahlende Eisblock’, Die Zeit, 8 April 1999, pp. 47–48; Michael Braun, ‘Müde dieser alten Welt’, die tageszeitung, 25 March 1999, p. II; Marius Meller, ‘Hauptsache Penis’, Frankfurter Rundschau, 10 October 2001, Literatur, p. 4; Marius Meller, ‘Wenn einem so viel Schönes wird beschert’, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, 7 October 2007, p. 58; Hans-Herbert Räkel, ‘Ein Snob in seinem letzten Hemd’, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 29 November 2007, p. 14; Rolf Spinnler, ‘Alles nur Strophen von vorgestern’, Stuttgarter Zeitung, 15 February 2008, p.
To begin with, the very figure of the poet as sailor (and castaway) suggests that Grünbein’s poet, for one, is not simply flailing his limbs, submerged up to his chin and desperately trying to stay afloat. 7 In other words, in the very act of availing himself of the traditional figure of the poet as navigator, in casting himself as lost at sea, Grünbein has already made landfall – ‘finding himself’, as he puts it – on the shores constituted by those poets and artists that any reader of Grünbein’s wide-ranging oeuvre will not fail to recognize as staking out precisely that ‘grand narrative’ which Grünbein claims has suffered shipwreck: the grand European narrative, above all, populated by such favourite personages of Grünbein’s as Homer, Herodotus, Simonides, Seneca, Ovid, Horace, Juvenal, Dante, Descartes, Rembrandt, Spinoza, Hals, Averkamp, Shakespeare, Spenser, Goethe, Baudelaire, Rilke, Eliot, Benn, Celan, Mandelstam and Brodsky, as well as many other more or less ‘usual suspects’ defining the Western cultural canon.