The Communicating Vessels

Friederike Mayröcker (Author) Alexander Booth (Translator)
Pre-Order   Ships Feb 09, 2021


For the first time available in English, two portraits of grief by Friederike Mayröcker, one of the significant European writers of our time.

Friederike Mayröcker met Ernst Jandl in 1954, through the experimental Vienna Group of German writers and artists. It was an encounter that would alter the course of their lives. Jandl's death in 2000 ended a partnership of nearly half a century. As writers have for millennia, Mayröcker turned to her art to come to terms with the loss. Taking its cue from the André Breton's work of the same name, The Communicating Vessels is an intensely personal book of mourning, comprised of 140 entries spanning the course of a year and exploring everyday life in the immediate aftermath of Jandl's death. Rilke is said to have observed that poetry should begin as elegy but end as praise: taking this as a guiding principle, And I Shook Myself a Beloved reflects on a lifetime of shared books and art, impressions and conversations, memories and dreams.

Masterfully translated by Alexander Booth, these two singular books of remembrance and farewell offer a stunning testament to a life of passionate reading, writing, and love.

Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
Public Space Books
Publish Date
February 09, 2021
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About the Author

Alexander Booth is a writer and translator who, after many years in Rome, at present lives in Berlin. His work has appeared in numerous print and online journals and he is the recipient of a 2012 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant for his translations of the poetry of Lutz Seiler.


"A raw literary meditation on loss." --Kirkus

Praise for Friederike Mayröcker

"With breathless abandon, [Mayröcker] has continually expanded her oeuvre and exploded notions of genre and convention, while always getting to the heart of this earthly living."
--BOMB magazine

"Friederike Mayröcker, among the world's greatest living writers, reinterprets literary vocation as total theater."
--Wayne Koestenbaum

"Through the powerful immediacy of her at times heart-wrenching language, Mayröcker proves that grief does not have to be private and can acquire a dignity that triumphs over any worry about decency."
--Heide Kunzelmann, TLS