Darkness Spoken

Ingeborg Bachmann


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Zephyr Press
20 June 2024
ISBN: 9781938890338
688 pages

From the publisher

Darkness Spoken gathers together Ingeborg Bachmann’s two celebrated books of poetry, as well as the early and late poems not collected in book form. Our new revised second edition (2024) has everything our first edition (2005) had, plus more. It contains the 129 poems that had then just been released from Bachmann’s archives and had never before been translated, twenty-five of which appeared in German for the first time as well. But the new edition also benefits from extensive archival research that translator Peter Filkins has undertaken over the last few years while writing a biography of Bachmann (forthcoming, Yale University Press). Filkins has made revisions to about a quarter of the translations based on his research, and added seven poems from Bachmann's youth that have never been translated or published before. 

Darkness Spoken is the definitive edition of Bachmann's poetry, and allows us to trace  her growth as a writer. She continued to write poems throughout her career, even while developing the ideas for her groundbreaking novels. Just as her Malina sought to expand the possibilities of the novel, Darkness Spoken contains the bedrock of a vision as far reaching as it is indelible, and as uncompromising as it is bound to hope. Through translation of the poems, scholarly notes, and a critical introduction, this volume attests to Bachmann’s achievement, and to her reputation as one of the most important European poets of the second half of the twentieth century.