as mornings and mossgreen I. Step to the window
Poetic prose meditations translated superbly into English.
Austrian poet Friederike Mayröcker is widely considered one of the most important European poets of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The last book of hers to be published during her lifetime, as mornings and moosgreen I. Step to the window is an elliptical and, if at times cryptic, deeply personal, playful, and highly poetic collection of experiences, memories, dreams, desires, fears, visions, observations, and peregrinations through landscapes both real and imagined. The volume bears witness to her unique late lyrical style of pyrotechnical cut-up. Among many others, her beloved Derrida, Duchamp, Hölderlin, and Jean-Paul all appear, almost like guides, as Mayröcker bravely makes her way through infirmity, old age, and loneliness, prolonging her time as a prolific writer as much as possible.
‘Friederike Mayrocker enjoys a growing reputation as a writer whose art insistently crosses the boundaries between literary forms. Her prose is lyrical, and draws on the work of a wide range of modernist writers, from Gertrude Stein to Virginia Woolf. Beckett and Thomas Bernhard have also influenced her style of bombarding the reader with a mixture of realistic and fantastic images. The device forces the reader to participate in the mental drama which supplants narrative in her work.’—Times Literary Supplement
‘The perfection of the life or the perfection of the work: these are the options Yeats set before his fellow poets. It was, he knew, an impossible choice. A life perfected one day disappears, unrecorded. A work can survive but only if one sacrifices one’s life to perfecting it. It is a circle that cannot be squared. Few writers have had the audacity to even attempt it. One of them, the Austrian experimental poet Friederike Mayröcker, is currently in the seventh decade of a career devoted to erasing the distinction between life and work.’—Ryan Ruby, Poetry Foundation. Read this excellent essay on Mayröcker’s body of work here.
‘Mayröcker’s work is a kind of continuous torrent of freely associative, passionate language in the service of private obsessions.’—Peter Sirr, Poetry Ireland Review
‘Tumult, ferocity, ﬂow, exaltation, immersion: Friederike Mayröcker, among the world’s greatest living writers, reinterprets literary vocation as total theater. Swimming through the language-tide, she cuts syntax into new folds and undulations. Responding to her gestural commands, words form constellations, clusters, diaristic strings of inference.’—Wayne Koestenbaum
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