H. G. Adler: A Life in Many Worlds


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.2 X 1.2 X 9.4 inches | 1.65 pounds
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About the Author

Peter Filkins is an award-winning translator and poet. He has translated three novels by H.G. Adler, Panorama, The Journey, and The Wall, as well as the collected poems of Ingeborg Bachmann. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Leon Levy Center forBiography, the DAAD, and the American Academy in Berlin, he is the Richard B. Fisher Professor of Literature at Bard College at Simon's Rock.


"The research and intellectual commitment behind the biography is formidable...[Filkin] has done H. G. Adler more than justice: he has created a luminous new work that parallels Adler's own practice in its combination of lyrical prose, scrupulous scholarship and humanism." -- Helen Finch, The University of Leeds, TLS

"Authoritative, deeply empathetic...a well-deserved celebration of a courageous and determined public intellectual." -- Kirkus Reviews

"This book is an intimate, detailed, and emotionally charged look at the life and times of Hans G�nther Adler...A deeply moving tribute to a man dedicated to keeping human dignity alive amid some of the greatest depravity the world has ever known, Filkins's abundantly researched, honest book reveals Adler as a wounded, flawed human being but also as a man gifted with inner strength, endurance, and the burning desire to take what he was given and make of his life an inextinguishable light for a world bound by darkness." -- Foreword Reviews

"[A] powerful portrait of Adler [...] this vivid biography [creates] a convincing picture of a man who grappled with the unimaginable and, upon his death, was justifiably called righteous" -- Publishers Weekly

"I cannot put this book down. I do not want it to end. Adler's is a world that bears inflections of Kafka, Levi, and ultimately Sebald - before, during, and after the war - a world that was always about to collapse, before, during, and after the war. And yet, in Filkins's telling, this is a life as a nightmare one doesn't want to shake off." -- Andr� Aciman

"Every page of Adler's work was written with the urgent rigor demanded by survivorship, and Peter Filkins - Adler's English-language translator and now his world biographer - honors that daunting mandate. His is a masterly and utterly engrossing study of one of the greatest minds to have been forged in the furnace of mid-twentieth-century Europe." -- Joshua Cohen

"Peter Filkins, the translator of three novels by the German-Czech master and Holocaust survivor H.G. Adler, now offers a meticulously researched biography of the writer, who has been compared to Kafka and Robert Musil. Since Adler's novels (and his massive study Theresienstadt 1941-1945) grew out of his own experiences, Filkins was already fluent in the life as well as the work and deftly folds his insights into the larger context of Adler's nightmarish times." -- Robert Wilson, editor of The American Scholar