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Regular readers will know of my fondness for the books of the London-based German specialist publisher Libris (whose wonderful In Time of Need: A Conversation about Poetry, Resistance and Exile I've just reviewed for PN Review).


Well, I've just received some fine-looking books from fellow German-language specialist Ariadne.


Elfriede Jelinek: Framed by Language (edited by Jorun B. Johns and Katherine Arens) was first published in 1994 (way before Jelinek came to most non-German readers attention by winning the Nobel prize in 2004) and contains "fifteen essays ... demonstrat[ing] the significance of this major literary voice, addressing Jelinek as a master of modernist prose, of postmodern critique of literary genres, and of stage and screen. Hers is a strong voice against domestic violence, pornography, oppression of women, and the continuance of the fascist legacy in the everyday world of contemporary Austria and Germany."


Alexander Lernet-Holenia (1897-1976) Mars in Aries "was immediately banned upon its publication in book form in 1941 [...] Richly constructed with cultural, historical, literary, linguistic, philosophical, and metaphysical references that counter Nazism [...] the intermeshing of existentialism and fate, the duality of existence, and the qualities of resistance. [The novel] underscores Alexander Lernet-Holenia's place in the Austrian literary canon alongside such writers as Schnitzler, Hofmannsthal, Musil and Broch."


Christine Lavant (1915-1973) was one of Austria's most famous yet obscure 20th-century poets. Thomas Bernhard referred to her work as testimony to a "zerstörte Welt / destroyed world." Memoirs from a Madhouse "was not published until after her death, because she considered it too personal. We find autobiographical elements in it which describes her exhaustion, her sleeplessness, her failed suicide attempt, and her daily struggles to survive by writing."

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