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Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Lighter than Air - Moral Poems

(German title: Leichter als Luft)
ca. 132 pages
Clothbound
1999
Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Foto: Hans Magnus Enzensberger
© Jürgen Bauer

» […] one of Germany's leading public intellectualsLondon Review of Books

Hans Magnus Enzensberger was born in Kaufbeuren in 1929. As a poet, essayist, writer, publisher and translator, he is one of the world’s most influential and internationally renowned German intellectuals.
 

Awards (selection):
Sonningprisen 2010
Premio d’Annunzio 2006
Premio Principe de Asturias 2002
Heinrich-Heine-Preis 1998
Erich-Maria-Remarque-Friedenspreis 1993
Heinrich Böll-Preis 1985
Büchner-Preis 1963
Deutscher Kritikerpreis 1962

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Previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: USA (Sheep Meadow Press), UK (Bloodaxe), Spanish world rights (La Poesia Senor Hidalgo), Italy (Einaudi), Netherlands (Uitgeverij P)

About

»As well as being Germany's most important poet, Hans Magnus Enzensberger is a provocative cultural essayist and one of Europe's leading political thinkers. […] Lighter than Air, his [...] collection of moral poems, weighs lightness against seriousness. These are witty, lightly ironic poems on all kinds of subjects, easy in style, engaging in tone, often conversational. Enzensberger is a cultured, learned, widely knowledgeable man, but his poems wear their knowledge, learning and culture very lightly. Perfectly at ease in a variety of poetic forms, he presents us again and again with things that matter.

This is intelligent and pointed poetry in the tradition of Brecht, humanely political and generously engaged. The poems have the ease and the lightness of real mastery. They are moral in their insistence that human life can be lived well or badly, that it is up to us to choose well and to act wisely. Enzensberger is now writing with an increasing awareness of mortality, yet addresses social and political dangers and evils with undiminished urgency. As if of their own free will, the poems of Lighter than Air reach beyond their author to affect other people lastingly. Their lightness will help that endeavour. They will float.« (book description from the UK edition published by Bloodaxe)

Other publications

Fallobst/Windfalls (2019)

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Überlebenskünstler/Survival Artists (2018)

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Immer das Geld!/Nothing but Money! (2015)

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Tumult/Tumult (2014)

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Verschwunden!/Gone! (2014)

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Herrn Zetts Betrachtungen, oder Brosamen, die er fallen ließ, aufgelesen von seinen Zuhörern/Mr. Zed’s Considerations or Crumbs That He Let Fall, Gleaned From His Listeners (2013)

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Enzensbergers Panoptikum/Enzensberger’s Panoptikum (2012)

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Sanftes Monster Brüssel oder Die Entmündigung Europas/Tender Monster Brussels or the Disenfranchisement of Europe (2011)

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Album/Album (2010)

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Meine Lieblings-Flops, gefolgt von einem Ideen-Magazin/My Favourite Flops, followed by a wealth of ideas (2010)

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Fortuna und Kalkül/Fortuna and Probability (2009)

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Hammerstein oder Der Eigensinn/Hammerstein or Idiosyncrasy (2008)

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Im Irrgarten der Intelligenz/The Labyrinth of Intelligence (2007)

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Schreckens Männer/Terror's Men (2006)

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Josefine und ich/Josefine and I (2006)

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Dialoge zwischen Unsterblichen, Lebendigen und Toten/Dialogues between the Immortals, the Living and the Dead (2004)

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Die Geschichte der Wolken/The History of the Clouds (2003)

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Die Elixiere der Wissenschaft/The Elixirs of Science (2002)

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Zickzack/Zigzag (1999)

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Kiosk/Kiosk (1995)

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Aussichten auf den Bürgerkrieg/Civil Wars (1993)

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Ach Europa!/Europe, Europe (1988)

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Politische Brosamen/Political Crumbs (1982)

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Der Untergang der Titanic/The Sinking of the Titanic (1979)

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Mausoleum/Mausoleum (1978)

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Der kurze Sommer der Anarchie/The Short Summer of Anarchy (1972)

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Einzelheiten I/Particulars (1964)

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Politik und Verbrechen/Politics and Crime (1964)

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