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These selections from the esteemed career of Gottfried Benn—one of the most significant German poets of the 20th century—showcase his early, shockingly graphic depictions of human suffering and degradation, as well as the isolation and fragmentation of the human being adrift in a nihilistic world found in his later work. Translator David Paisey presents two selections, of verse and prose respectively, from Benn’s large oeuvre, which are ordered chronologically to enable readers to perceive the developments of Benn’s art and thought. In an important biographical introduction, Paisey tackles the difficult question of Benn’s compliance with the Nazi regime and its impact on his life and work.

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