This landmark collection of essays by one of the world's greatest living authors makes Durs Grunbein's wide-ranging and multifaceted prose available in English for the first time, and is a welcome complement to "Ashes for Breakfast" (FSG, 2005), his first book-length collection of poetry in English. Covering two decades, "The Bars of Atlantis" unfurls the entire breadth and depth of Grunbein's essayistic genius: memoiristic and autobiographical pieces that introduce Grunbein, the man and author, and tell the story of the making of a poet and thinker toward the end of a century marked by global political strife, unprecedented human suffering, long decades of totalitarian rule, and, in its final quarter, the dawn of a new, post - cold war world order; pieces that focus on Grunbein's major philosophical and aesthetic concerns, such as the intersection of art and science, literature and biology; extended reflections on the existential, cultural, political, and ethical import of the poet's craft in the contemporary world; and, finally, explorations of the meaning of classical antiquity for the present. All contribute to making this volume a true classic of critical prose.
Durs Grunbein is the author of six previous volumes of poetry and a collection of essays. His work has been awarded many major German literary prizes, including the highest, the Georg Buchner Prize, which he won at age thirty-three. He has lived in Berlin since 1985