Even a century after his death, he still remains an enigma: Rüdiger Görner sets off on the trail of the legendary Georg Trakl.
Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, Georg Trakl died in a military hospital at the age of 29 from an overdose of cocaine. Did the poet commit suicide, traumatised by the battle of Grodek? This is just one of many mysteries surrounding his life and work.
Drawing on Trakl’s work and our sketchy knowledge of his life, Rüdiger Görner offers us a bold and convincing portrait of the enigmatic poet. Görner examines Trakl’s childhood in Salzburg, the uncomfortably close relationship with his sister Margarethe and his fascination with death. He offers some surprising and fascinating new conclusions, for instance pointing out that Trakl’s slim canon of work only marginally reflects the ruthless acceleration and increasing mechanization that characterised his time, and that his poems exude an extraordinary serenity despite Trakl’s own restlessness.
»A marvellous biography. Its special merit lies in the remarkable sensitivity and meticulous attention to detail with which the author has interpreted Trakl’s life and work, illuminating even the most cryptic ramifications of the poet’s inexorable descent into darkness.« Fritz J. Raddatz, Die Welt