Insa Braun

Reden über Lyrik
Autorkonstitution in Frankfurter Poetikvorlesungen von 1959 bis 1989
[Talking about Poetry. Author Constitution in Frankfurt Poetry Lectures from 1959 to 1989]

Studien zur deutschen Literatur vol. 233
De Gruyter, Berlin 2024, 288 pages
ISBN 978-3-111-32782-2 (Print); 978-3-111-32954-3 (PDF)

Those who stand at the lectern to give a poetry lecture are sometimes faced with an overwhelming array of demands. Not only are they supposed to recite their literary work in the authentic voice of the author, but they are also expected to act as a creative writing teacher, a literary scholar, and even as their own interpreter. Time and time again, these conflicting demands provoked the lecturers to refuse to accept the format.

In her book, Insa Braun demonstrates how this conflict intensified at the Frankfurt Poetry Lectures amid the debate on German post-war poetry: In their lectures, authors such as Ingeborg Bachmann, Karl Krolow, Helmut Heißenbüttel, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Peter Rühmkorf, and Ernst Jandl find unique and innovative ways to express their opinions on how one can still write poems and talk about poetry even “after Auschwitz.” Through detailed analyses of selected Frankfurt Poetry Lectures between 1959 and 1989, the book traces how the very gesture of refusal against the format brings forth new forms of performing poetic authorship.