Friedrich Hölderlin

Essays and Letters
  • Essays and Letters

  • One of Germany's greatest poets, Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) was also a prose writer of intense feeling, intelligence and perception. This new translation of selected letters and essays traces the life and thoughts of this extraordinary writer. Hölderlin's letters to friends and fellow writers such as Hegel, Schiller and Goethe describe his development as a poet, while those written to his family speak with great passion of his beliefs and aspirations, as well as revealing money worries and, finally, the tragic unravelling of his sanity. These works examine Hölderlin's great preoccupations - the unity of existence, the relationship between art and nature and, above all, the spirit of the writer.

Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin (1770- 1843) was a major German lyric poet. His work bridges the Classical and Romantic schools. Hölderlin was a solitary figure, and suffered bouts of mental illness throughout his life. Jeremy Adler is Emeritus Professor of German and Senior Research Fellow at King's College London. He is a sometime fellow of the Institute of Advanced Study, Berlin, and a Corresponding Member of the German Academy of Language and Literature. He has written a book on Goethe's Elective Affinities (1987), produced a catalogue of visual poetry, Text als Figur (third edition, 1990), and edited the collected works of August Stramm (1990). With Richard Fardon he edited Franz Baermann Steiner's Selected Writings (1999), and also edited Steiner's collected poems (2000) and selected aphorisms (2009). His edition of Hölderlin's Selected Poems and Fragments was published by Penguin (1998), as was his illustrated life of Franz Kafka (2001). Charlie Louth was born in 1969 in Bristol. He is a Fellow of the Queen's College, Oxford, where he lectures in German. He is the author of Hölderlin and the Dynamics of Translation (1998).