In this Book

Princeton University Press
summary

They are nine women with much in common--all German speaking, all poets, all personal witnesses to the horror and devastation that was World War II. Yet, in this deeply moving collection, each provides a singularly personal glimpse into the effects of war on language, place, poetry, and womanhood.

After Every War is a book of translations of women poets living in Europe in the decades before and after World War II: Rose Ausländer, Elisabeth Langgässer, Nelly Sachs, Gertrud Kolmar, Else Lasker-Schüler, Ingeborg Bachmann, Marie Luise Kaschnitz, Dagmar Nick, and Hilde Domin. Several of the writers are Jewish and, therefore, also witnesses and participants in one of the darkest occasions of human cruelty, the Holocaust. Their poems, as well as those of the other writers, provide a unique biography of the time--but with a difference. These poets see public events through the lens of deep private losses. They chart the small occasions, the bittersweet family ties, the fruit dish on a table, the lost soul arriving at a railway station; in other words, the sheer ordinariness through which cataclysm is experienced, and by which life is cruelly shattered. They reclaim these moments and draw the reader into them.

The poems are translated and introduced, with biographical notes on the authors, by renowned Irish poet Eavan Boland. Her interest in the topic is not abstract. As an Irish woman, she has observed the heartbreaking effects of violence on her own country. Her experience has drawn her closer to these nine poets, enabling her to render into English the beautiful, ruminative quality of their work and to present their poems for what they are: documentaries of resilience--of language, of music, and of the human spirit--in the hardest of times.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Copyright, Dedication, Epigraph
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  1. CONTENTS
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-14
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  1. ROSE AUSLÄNDER (b. 1901)
  2. pp. 15-15
  1. A Biographical Note
  2. pp. 16-17
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  1. Mutterland / Motherland
  2. pp. 18-19
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  1. Damit kein Licht uns liebe / So That No Light Would Be There to Love Us
  2. pp. 20-21
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  1. Am Ende der Zeit / At the End of Time
  2. pp. 22-23
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  1. Verwundert / Amazed
  2. pp. 24-25
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  1. Die Fremden / Strangers
  2. pp. 26-27
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  1. Meine Nachtigall / My Nightingale
  2. pp. 28-29
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  1. Im Chagall-Dorf / In Chagall’s Village
  2. pp. 30-31
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  1. Biographische Notiz / Biographical Note
  2. pp. 32-33
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  1. Mein Schlüssel / My Key
  2. pp. 34-36
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  1. ELISABETH LANGGÄSSER (b. 1899)
  2. pp. 37-37
  1. A Biographical Note
  2. pp. 38-39
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  1. Frühling 1946 / Spring 1946
  2. pp. 40-44
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  1. NELLY SACHS (b. 1891)
  2. pp. 45-45
  1. A Biographical Note
  2. pp. 46-47
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  1. Wenn ich nur wüsste / If I Only Knew
  2. pp. 48-49
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  1. In der blauen Ferne / In the Blue Distance
  2. pp. 50-51
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  1. Bereit sind alle Länder aufzustehn / All the Lands of the Earth
  2. pp. 52-53
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  1. In der Flucht / In Flight
  2. pp. 54-55
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  1. In diesem Amethyst / In This Amethyst
  2. pp. 56-57
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  1. Kommt einer von ferne / If Someone Comes
  2. pp. 58-60
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  1. GERTRUD KOLMAR (b. 1894)
  2. pp. 61-61
  1. A Biographical Note
  2. pp. 62-63
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  1. Das Opfer / The Victim
  2. pp. 64-70
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  1. ELSE LASKER-SCHÜLER (b. 1869)
  2. pp. 71-71
  1. A Biographical Note
  2. pp. 72-73
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  1. Mein blaues Klavier / My Blue Piano
  2. pp. 74-75
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  1. Ich weiß / I Know
  2. pp. 76-77
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  1. Herbst / Autumn
  2. pp. 78-79
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  1. Abends / In the Evening
  2. pp. 80-81
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  1. Meine Mutter / My Mother
  2. pp. 82-83
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  1. Über glitzernden Kies / Over Glistening Gravel
  2. pp. 84-85
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  1. Ein einziger mensch / A Single Man
  2. pp. 86-88
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  1. INGEBORG BACHMANN (b. 1926)
  2. pp. 89-89
  1. A Biographical Note
  2. pp. 90-91
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  1. Alle Tage / Every Day
  2. pp. 92-93
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  1. Botschaft / Message
  2. pp. 94-95
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  1. Die gestundete Zeit / Borrowed Time
  2. pp. 96-97
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  1. Dunkles zu sagen / To Speak of Dark Things
  2. pp. 98-99
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  1. Herbstmanöver / Autumn Maneuver
  2. pp. 100-101
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  1. Abschied von England / Departure from England
  2. pp. 102-103
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  1. Früher Mittag / Early Noon
  2. pp. 104-107
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  1. Exil / Exile
  2. pp. 108-109
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  1. Ihr Worte / You Words
  2. pp. 110-114
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  1. MARIE LUISE KASCHNITZ (b. 1901)
  2. pp. 115-115
  1. A Biographical Note
  2. pp. 116-117
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  1. Hiroshima / Hiroshima
  2. pp. 118-119
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  1. Selinunte / Selinunte
  2. pp. 120-121
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  1. Nicht mutig / Not Brave
  2. pp. 122-124
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  1. HILDE DOMIN (b. 1909)
  2. pp. 125-125
  1. A Biographical Note
  2. pp. 126-127
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  1. Köln / Cologne
  2. pp. 128-129
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  1. Geburtstage / Birthdays
  2. pp. 130-131
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  1. Exil / Exile
  2. pp. 132-134
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  1. DAGMAR NICK (b. 1926)
  2. pp. 135-135
  1. A Biographical Note
  2. pp. 136-137
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  1. Flugwetter / Flying Weather
  2. pp. 138-139
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  1. Aufruf / Summons
  2. pp. 140-141
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  1. Den Generälen ins Soldbuch / In the Book of the Generals
  2. pp. 142-143
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  1. Niemandsland / No-Man’s-Land
  2. pp. 144-145
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  1. An Abel / To Abel
  2. pp. 146-147
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  1. Emigration / Emigration
  2. pp. 148-150
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 151-152
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  1. Checklists
  2. pp. 153-164
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  1. Further Reading
  2. pp. 165-166
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  1. Index of Titles
  2. pp. 167-168
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