Karl Kraus “High Priest of Truth …” (Georg Trakl)

Karl Kraus 1874-1936 was an Austrian writer and journalist, known as a satirist, essayist, aphorist, playwright and poet. He directed his satire at the press, German culture, and German and Austrian politics. Three times Nobel Prize for Lit. nominee, he should have been awarded one.

White high priest of truth, Crystal voice, in which God’s icy breath lives, Raging sorcerer, Under whose flaming coat jangles the warrior’s blue armour’ – Georg Trakl’s poem ‘Karl Kraus.’

The first complete English translation of his far-seeing polemic, written in 1933 unmasking the Nazi seizure of power“[A] drop-dead analysis of the rhetorical barbarities of the Hitler cult.”―Bill Marx, Arts Fuse. Its message still relevant in 2021 … sadly.
Georg Trakl d. 1914, aged 37. 24 August 1914 enlists as a medical orderly. A troubled soul before WW1 , the trauma of dealing with the wounded after the battle of Grodek was the beginning of the end for Georg. Mental collapse led to a suicide attempt. A sympathetic guard smuggled cocaine into the hospital in Krakov, of which Georg died of heart failure following an overdose.

Yes, a troubled soul that was at its core a gentle one. His collected poems are called ‘Surrender to the Night,’ which Richard Millington describes as ‘The Gentle Apocalypse’ … I think Georg would like that. Will Stone introduces Trakl’s poetry with two words … ‘ Approaching Silence.’ His translations are sublime. In fact, they promise to rekindle interest in the work of this seminal poet.

The mesmerizing imagery and haunting visions of Trakl’s highly sensitive and morbidly introspective poetry are as powerful today as they were when he poured forth his extraordinary and unclassifiable volume of work. A source of inspiration for artists, musicians and writers through the Expressionist period and beyond, Trakl’s poetry bleak, yet full of tenderness and hope, nightmarish yet eerily beautiful has steadfastly defied any coherent critical analysis.

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