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Cover for H. G. Adler

H. G. Adler

A Life in Many Worlds

Peter Filkins

Hardcover

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Description

The biography of H.G. Adler (1910-88) is the story of a survivor of Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and two other concentration camps who not only lived through the greatest cataclysm of the 20th century, but someone who also devoted his literary and scholarly career to telling the story of those
who perished in over two dozen books of fiction, poetry, history, sociology, and religion. And yet for much of his life he remained almost entirely unknown. A writer's writer, a scholar of seminal, pioneering works on the Holocaust, a renowned radio essayist in postwar Germany, a last representative
of the Prague Circle of literature headed by Kafka, a key contributor to the prosecution in the trial of Adolf Eichmann, Adler was a man of his time whose times lived through him. His is the story of many others, but also one that is singularly his own. And at its heart lies a profound story of love
and perseverance amid the loss of his first wife, Gertrud Klepetar, who accompanied her mother to the gas chamber in Auschwitz, and the courtship and extended correspondence with Bettina Gross, a Prague artist who escaped to the Britain, only to later learn that her mother had also been in
Theresienstadt with Adler before her eventual death in Auschwitz. His delivery of a lecture in Theresienstadt commemorating Kafka's sixtieth birthday, and with Kafka's favorite sister present; the nurturing of a younger generation of artists and intellectuals, including the Israeli artist Jehuda
Bacon and the Serbian novelist Ivan Ivanji; the preservation of Viktor Ullmann's compositions and his opera The Emperor of Atlantis, only to see them premiered decades later to world acclaim; and the penury of postwar life while churning out the novels, poetry, and scholarship that would make his
reputation - all of these are part of a life survived in the moment, but dedicated to the future, and that of a man committed to helping human dignity survive in his time and that to come.

Oxford University Press, USA, 9780190222383, 424pp.

Publication Date: March 12, 2019



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.