Oskar Pastior - Many Glove Compartments Book 25649
[Burning Deck]

Oskar Pastior - Many Glove Compartments Book 25649
Poems, English, 120 pages, offset, smyth-sewn. Translated from the German by Harry Mathews, Christopher Middleton, Rosmarie Waldrop, & with a guest appearance by John Yau. Unlike Adam ("the old Stalin of language"), Pastior is not out to name animals or anything else. "Talking about things is not possible. Language, the text, speaks itself-this is the great dilemma to which theories of realism close their eyes." For Pastior, language itself is the stuff of life, a metabolism where not only words, but even concepts are made flesh. He explores it through puns, lists, strings, heaps, fields, dictionaries, alphabets, collage, montage, potpourris in orgiastic expansion, "thought-music as a leaping perspective."

Critics have praised his "sublime lack of seriousness," his "paradisal language," his "commonsense and commonscythe," his "revenge against logic." Only a fraction of Pastior's poems are translatable. But the translators hope that their versions will at least approximate the pleasure of Pastior's texts.

Oskar Pastior was born in 1927 in Hermannstadt, in Siebenbürgen, the German-speaking part of Romania. After the war he (along with other young Romanian-Germans) spent 5 years in a Soviet Labor Camp as part of Romania's reparation for having sided with Hitler. This experience, Pastior says, provided him with his thematic tonic: "the small - yet vast - space of play between freedom and determinism." Then, after taking a university degree and working for the Bukarest radio, in 1969, he managed to come to Berlin where he has gained a considerable reputation as a poet, performer and the only German member of OULIPO.