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"The world does not deserve the end of the world": The Texts of Peter Hamm.  Review - culture

“The world does not deserve the end of the world”: The Texts of Peter Hamm. Review – culture

When he read, the report of contemporary witnesses, the young poet was excited: the Italian look, the art of speaking, this voice and these verses, which made them so proud of their experts: “One evening they must have known / everyone should get rid of the things you know are silent / get rid of you need To know her you made me silent / You need to know even the air made an arc around me on your own.

Peter Hamm was only nineteen years old when he sang with Gruppe 47 in 1956, having met Günter Grass, ten years older than him, who had briefly written rival poems – and as the author was able to admit decades later – was not entirely wrong as “A mix of“ Stephen George and Curt Schwitters. ”Hamm was around the same time two years ago Meaning and form And in Accents For the first time in East Germany even before West Germany. From his sad childhood, he escaped to poetry and spoke with godparents such as Welland Herzfeld in East Berlin and Paul Ceylon in Paris. With timid admiration, he traveled to Stockholm to see Nelly Sachs, who greeted him as a “little brother” alongside his “sister-girlfriend” Ingborg Bachmann.

The younger brother had little in common with Grasse except for “officially confirmed immaturity,” as they both had failed school, but they made their way into culture even without a high school diploma and remained self-aware throughout their lives. Grass abandoned the great lyricist Grasse, and instead became the most famous German composer, able to market him on the world market since the song “Tin Dram” and fear as a political advisor always ready to help. Hamm published a total of five volumes of poems, initially, as he himself said, filled with “Sugar in Trakl”, later under the influence of Brecht & Benn, Ginsberg was not quite and certainly not Alfred Jarry. At one point he knew what he was and called himself “The Poet of Echo” https://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/. “Poetry, you can’t repeat it often,” he once wrote, “comes through the tradition of“ poetry also comes from poetry. ”

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The critic Hamm did not want to be seen as a critic, it was emotional

So the poet became a liberator after all. Peter Hamm worked for the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation for 38 years. He was thus able to focus on “a historically established kind of literary criticism,” as Michael Krueger Hamm’s work describes. Krueger has now provided a selection of articles, reviews, and reviews on literature to his friend, who passed away two years ago, and is thus a short literary history.

The volume does not offer a great outlook and also not much of the present, but mainly a look back, when literary criticism had not yet fully succumbed to the seasonal pressures of publishers and its time There’s still room for great articles for no reason. Until th Spiegel I was once able, albeit only after the intervention of the editor, Rudolf Augustine, to print a comprehensive important book Eloge on the “Cahiers” by Paul Valerie. In the memory of Grass, placed right in the middle of the tape, Hamm casually recalled how his patron, Augustine, appeared in the restaurant at the Cannes Film Festival “already in a Pashani mood” and when he saw Jane Morrow “stood in his place. In front of her with hands folded on his knees and projected a picture of an ecstatic Hajj at the end Pilgrimage “.

In conclusion, Kruger talks about how difficult it can be to choose from the nearly sixty years of accompanying literature. The critic is important, he did not want to be seen as a critic and was emotionally bold. Nobody can write about Christine Lavant so enthusiastic, ravings Robert and the Secret, adore Sarah Kirsch or adore Zbigniew Herbert. But the late inclination towards Catholicism of Reinhold Schneider would easily obscure the beautiful aggressiveness of the early years.


The great critic, who was not yet himself, would appear “as an authority, not as a person”

Hamm spent many hours praying for the work of Ingburg Bachmann, but this did not prevent him from describing Haji Heidegger Paul Ceylan as an “immoderate masochist”. In addition to Jan Amiri, Hamm was one of the few who did not want to come to terms with the way literary critic Hans Egon Holthussen spent his youth with the SS in 1966. Mercury celebrate. Before becoming his most loyal companion, he flogged Peter Handke Cement As the “latest case of German essence”. He fearlessly criticized Suhrkamp Publishing for censoring Brecht and Adorno’s edition because he only wanted to present Walter Benjamin in an amputated manner for posterity.

In a volume entitled Criticism / For Whom / For Whom / How (1968), Hamm assumed that the main critic, who was not yet himself, would “appear as an authority rather than a person,” and demanded instead – he was later somewhat embarrassed- ” Dialectically-materialist rather than responding to critics and their argument perfectly. ” He never got like that, he preferred to be excited. His radio colleagues could not understand how someone wanted to take a six-month vacation, thereby forfeiting a portion of the princely old-age pension in order to make a film about Robert Walser, the poet they barely knew. Hamm was a favorite alongside Fernando Pessoa.

Peter Hamm: The world does not deserve the end of the world. Articles and Reviews. Edited and with a closing remarks by Michael Krueger. Göttingen: Wallstein 2021, 340 pages, 24 €.

When Hamm, just three years after his attack, “A short message for a long farewell”, Handke in Spiegel Celebrated under the heading “Now He Can Say It,” he unabashedly spoke about himself like any good critic and finally emerged as a person. At that time, a poet of Marxism, who had learned it late, the stiff school of Brecht and Benjamin, freed him all the fuss with “ideology” and “late bourgeois consciousness”. Thomas Bernard and Herbert Sternbusch helped.

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Over the years, Hamm became a part of the literary works and was inevitably more temperate, then also praised the greatest of them, but was clearly surprised by the “radically inconspicuous prose” of Marcel Reich Ranicki’s diary. He kept allowing himself such kicks – against Hans Magnus Ensensberger, against Karl Heinz Boehrer – even if he seemed otherwise to obey the pleasant command. Every now and then he dared to reach a head that not every Daily Business reviewer would envy. In Heiner Muller’s poems, he wrote in an appropriately disrespectful manner after the author’s death, “very large words” stand “like colossal columns that have nothing to support, which is why they look like rubble.”

Even if he did not trust his poems in the end as much as the 17-year-old and avoided words, he knew that salvation from history is only in art, “in poetry, in writing.” The review of the poems of the Italian Umberto Saba concluded with his funeral motto: Cried and understood for all– He cried and understood for all.