Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Eclectics & Heteroclites 13




 New-ish publication from Atlas!
The works of Hans Henny Jahnn exploded on to the inter-war literary scene in Germany as a crazed marriage of Gothic Romanticism, modernist literary Expressionism and the experiments of writers such as Döblin and Joyce. Jahnn’s personal cry of existential horror and guilt expresses both a repulsion and fascination for mortality which stemmed from his earliest years; it was subsequently reinforced by his unconventional sexuality and a by a philosophy that celebrated life and death in all its aspects — not least in the embrace of eroticism and decay. His narratives, even when rooted in everyday life, burst forth in a wholly intemperate flood of prose, at once lurid and baroque. Little alleviates the apocalyptic fervour and morbid sense of doom in these writings.
He has been only rarely translated into English, whereas in France his works have been compared to Antonin Artaud and Georges Bataille. This selection includes three of his 13 Uncanny Tales and the whole of his novella The Night of Lead, which nowadays is without doubt his most renowned work in Germany.

3 comments:

The Washington Society for the History of Medicine said...

I came across your post while researching the brilliant but obscure graphic artist Roman Rechn. A short googlebooks search indicates that Rechn corresponded with Jahnn in the 1920s & mentions Ugrino. I can only get "snippets" (boohoo). Guess I'll have to see if I can get those books via interlibrary loan or wait until my next trip to Germany. If anyone has info on the Jahnn-Rechn connection, email me. Mike

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Climax of Pleasure said...

Hanns Henny Jahnn's novel "Shoreless River" (Original: Fluss ohne Ufer) is indeed one of the most impressive books I have red ever!