Snow from Broken Eyes: Cocaine in the Lives and Works of Three Expressionist Poets by Richard MillingtonSnow from Broken Eyes: Cocaine in the Lives and Works of Three Expressionist Poets by Richard Millington

Snow from Broken Eyes: Cocaine in the Lives and Works of Three Expressionist Poets

byRichard Millington

Paperback | November 28, 2011

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The highpoint of German Expressionism in the second decade of the 20th century coincided with a rapid increase in the availability of cocaine as the drug was stockpiled for medical purposes by armies fighting the First World War. Snow from Broken Eyes investigates the implications of this historical intersection for the lives and works of three poets associated with Expressionism: Gottfried Benn, Walter Rheiner and Georg Trakl. All three are known to have used the drug during the War, although under very different circumstances, and the cocaine references contained in their works are equally diverse. These range from demonstrative declarations of drug use (Benn), via agonized textual re-enactments of the addict’s humiliation and suffering (Rheiner), to the integration of drug symbolism into an original, deeply resonant poetic code (Trakl). In this study, the findings arising from close readings of key works by Benn, Rheiner and Trakl are contextualized in relation both to the longstanding historical association between psychoactive substances and imaginative literature, and to the radical innovations in literary style that characterized the early 20th century.
Richard Millington is a Lecturer in German at the School of Languages and Cultures, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
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Title:Snow from Broken Eyes: Cocaine in the Lives and Works of Three Expressionist PoetsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:8.66 × 5.91 × 0.68 inPublished:November 28, 2011Publisher:Peter Lang AG, Internationaler Verlag der WissenschaftenLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3034310692

ISBN - 13:9783034310697

Reviews

Table of Contents

Contents: A condensed literary history of cocaine – Reading cocaine: methodological considerations – Gottfried Benn’s toxicology of genius – The poems and plays of Benn’s «episode with cocaine» – Walter Rheiner: archetype of the Expressionist addict – Rheiner’s master narrative of addiction – Georg Trakl: an Austrian drug-eater – The poems of Trakl’s cocaine period – Trakl’s poetics of intoxication – Snow symbolism in Trakl’s poetry.

Editorial Reviews

«[…] anyone tbinking about the complex inter-mingling of life, literature and intoxication will find this an invaluable resource.»
(Karen Leeder, Benn Forum, Band 4, 2014/2015)