"Wir haben ein Gedicht im Kopf:" Ernst Jandl and Friederike Mayröcker in conversation
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The meeting of poets Friederike Mayröcker and Ernst Jandl in 1954 changed the course of their own lives as well as post-war German-language poetry in Vienna, in Austria, and in Europe. This selected critical edition charts their creative processes from April 1954 through April 1957, which spans Mayröcker’s composition and editing of the core of her first poetry collection, and Jandl’s decisive turn away from a narrative into a visual and aural poetic structure. The poems included were critical to the foundational work of their seminal collections of 1966, and to the growth of the distinctive writing styles that would later bring each international renown. This dissertation presents the first known genetic editorial work on these poems, written as they were negotiating the development of their relationship and recommitting themselves to their lives and practices as artists. Illustrating their experimentation, their linguistic inventiveness, and their revision processes, as well as evidencing each poet’s evolution in style, this edition shows each poet’s synthesis and stylistic development surrounded by patterns and mysteries. Both Jandl and Mayröcker demonstrate specific types of manuscript or typescript variants that distinguish their composition and revision styles. In addition to the catalogues of these variants, correspondence and other paratextual material by both poets place their revisions in historical, anecdotal, and creative research contexts. Presenting their typescripts, manuscripts, and letters shows the relevance of extant archival material, and of Jandl and Mayröcker’s revision processes, to their poetry. Each poem is accompanied by my English-language translation, and by a catalogue of variants when available.
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