Translated by Karen Leeder
5 x 8.5 inches, 144pp. September 2014
ISBN : 9780857422187
Rs 495.00 (HB)
Rubble Flora is a selection of poems from the distinguished, half-century-long career of German poet Volker Braun. Born in the former East Germany, Braun is a humane, witty, brave and disappointed poet. In the East, his poetry upheld the voice of the individual imagination and identified with a utopian possibility that never became reality. He might be said to have found a truly singular voice amid the colossal upheavals of 1989ï¿½exploring the triumph of capitalism and the languages of advertising, terror, politics and war. At the same time, Braun is a sensual poet in tune with the natural landscape. He has his own touchstones in world literature, and many of his poems set quotations from Rimbaud, Shakespeare and Brecht into his own context, where they work as ironic illuminations of a present plight. The literary principle of his work lies in the friction of these different voices, whether cast into free form, collage or classical verse. Cumulatively, Rubble Flora offers a searing vision of these transformative decades.
Volker Braun read philosophy at the University of Leipzig, then worked as dramatist and director at the Berliner Ensemble (with Bertolt Brecht’s widow Helene Weigel) and the Deutsches Theater. He is the author of numer- ous plays, novels, volumes of poetry and essays and his prizes include the prestigious Georg BÃ¼chner Prize (2000).
Karen Leeder has translated a wide range of German writers, including Brecht, GrÃ¼nbein, KrÃ¼ger, Schrott, Enzensberger and Sandig. Winner of the Schlegel- Tieck Prize (2005) and the Times Stephen Spender Prize (2013), she is currently professor of modern German literature at the University of Oxford and fellow in German at New College, Oxford.