Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Translated by Mike Mitchell
5 x 8 inches, 296 pp. December 2016
ISBN : 9780857423702
Rs 550.00 (HB)
Hans Magnus Enzensberger, widely regarded as Germany’s greatest living poet, was already well known in the 1960s, the tempestuous decade of which Tumult is an autobiographical record. Derived from old papers, notes, jottings, photos and letters that the poet stumbled upon years later in his attic, the volume is not so much about the man but, rather, the many places he visited and the people whom he met on his travels through the Soviet Union and Cuba during the 1960s.
The book is made up of four longform pieces written from 1963 to 1970, each episode concluding with a poem and postscript written in 2014. Based on Enzensberger’s personal experience as a left-wing sympathizer, the book is a lively and deftly written travelogue offering a glimpse into the history of leftist thought. Dedicated to ‘those who disappeared’, Tumult is a document of that which remains one of humanity’s headiest times.
Hans Magnus Enzensberger, often considered Germany’s most important living poet, is also the editor of the book series Die Andere Bibliothek and the founder of the monthly TransAtlantik. His books include Lighter Than Air: Moral Poems and Civil Wars: From L.A. to Bosnia.
For many years a lecturer in German with a special interest in Austrian literature, Mike Mitchell has worked as a literary translator since 1995. He was awarded the 1998 Schlegel-Tieck Prize for his translation of Herbert Rosendorfer’s Letters Back to Ancient China. Mitchell has also translated Peter Handke’s Till Day You do Part or A Question of Light and Max Frisch’s An Answer from the Silence, both published by Seagull Books.