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Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) is now recognized as one of Europe’s supreme poets. He first found his true voice in the epigrams and odes he wrote when transfigured by his love for the wife of a rich banker. He later embarked on an extraordinarily ambitious sequence of hymns exploring cosmology and history, from mythological times to the discovery of America and his own era. The ’Canticles of Night’, by contrast, include enigmatic fragments in an unprecedented style, which anticipates the Symbolists and Surrealists. Together the works collected here show Hölderlin’s use of Classical and Christian imagery and his exploration of cosmology and history in an attempt to find meaning in an uncertain world.

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