Kurt Pinthus

THE TWILIGHT OF HUMANITY

The centenary of a book that remains urgently relevant today

The Twilight of Humanity is one of the most successful anthologies of poetry ever published in German. For the nation’s poetic youth, it became a beacon of hope and remained one for a hundred years. The apocalypse invoked in its pages is constantly in the process of arising; our troubled times seem to bear eerie similarities to the period preceding World War I.

This volume includes poems by Gottfried Benn, Georg Trakl, Elke Lasker-Schüler, Georg Heym and many other poets. Some were soldiers, killed in action, some were expelled from their homes, some took their own lives or were murdered by the Nazis. One became the East German minister of culture. This concert features a range of distinct voices that combine to form an enthralling whole.

Coinciding with the centenary of this anthology’s first publication, Rowohlt has now produced a new edition with illustrations by, among others, Egon Schiele and Oscar Kokoschka and also featuring modern graphic design and a preface by Florian Illies.

 

Kurt Pinthus

Kurt Pinthus

Born in 1886, Kurt Pinthus was the foremost communicator of German expressionism. He advised the Rowohlt Verlag, was an editor at Kurt Wolff Verlag and later worked as a journalist and as a dramaturg with Max Reinhardt. He fled to the USA in 1937, returning to Germany many years after  World War II. Kurt Pinthus died in 1975 in Marbach am Neckar.

 

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