Gerhard Falkner

Born in Nuremberg in 1951, Gerhard Falkner has made a name as an essayist, anthologist, dramatist and translator, but it is above all as a poet that he has had a defining influence on German literature over the past 25 years (a phare, in Baudelaire’s sense, in whose light various younger figures have been able to find their bearings in the postmodern darkness). Falkner’s first two collections (1981 and 1984) provoked a frisson nouveau – after years of flaccid parlando, their freshness and urgency seemed to have sprung straight from Zeus’s (or rather Marinetti’s) head. There are experiments in the high style (Klopstock) and at the same time poems flirting heavily with dialect (Bavarian, Swiss) and American “low demotic” (“my whole ass went crazy!”).

– Introduced by Richard Dove, MPT 3/1, Introductions