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Heimrad Bäcker : Seascape
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Translator: Patrick Greaney
Contributor: Charles Bernstein

~Poetry~ | $25 ($18 direct from UDP)
Hand-bound. 20 pp, 7.75 x 5.75 in.
Publication Date: November 1, 2013
Series: Lost Lit

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Heimrad Bäcker’s Seascape uses documentary material to recount a minor historical episode from World War II: the crew of a German submarine comes upon three men on a Norwegian lifeboat and refuses to take them on board. Bäcker’s account of Nazi inhumanity uncannily echoes Un coup de dés, Marcel Broodthaers’ A Voyage on the North Sea, and other nautical texts of the avant-garde.


[ excerpt ]

0800   Qu. AL 0175, SW 4/5,
           heavy rain, moderate 
           seas, poor visibility.




 This publication of Patrick Greaney’s translation of Heimrad Bäcker’s Seestück (originally published as neue texte #32) has been generously supported by the City of Linz, the State of Upper Austria, and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture.


06.19.14 | Heimrad Bäcker’s Seascape reviewed in JAB

02.24.14| Seascape exhibited at Abecedarian Gallery

01.09.14 | Response to Vanessa Place’s review of Seascape for Constant Critic

01.06.14 | Seascape by Heimrad Bäcker reviewed by Constant Critic

11.14.13 | The Poetry Foundation’s Harriet: The Blog reviews Heimrad Bäcker’s Seascape

11.5.13 | Molossus reviews Heimrad Bäcker’s Seascape

Heimrad Bäcker
Photo credit: ©Lintschinger

Heimrad Bäcker (1925-2003) was an artist, poet, and influential editor of the Austrian avant-garde. He is the author of seven volumes of poetry, includingtranscript (Dalkey Archive Press, 2010). He published major works by Austrian artists and experimental writers in his journal neue texte (1968-1991) and under the imprint of Edition Neue Texte (1976-1992), the publishing house that he ran along with his wife Margret Bäcker. Most of his literary works draw on the methods of concrete and visual poetry to present documentary material about the Shoah. These books were historical and literary, and they were also part of a critical autobiography, an examination of Bäcker’s enthusiastic participation in the Hitler Youth and the Nazi Party. Seascape was Bäcker’s first book; it was published in German in 1985, when he was 60.

Patrick Greaney is the author of Untimely Beggar: Poverty and Power from Baudelaire to Benjamin (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) and In a Near Future: Quotation and History in Contemporary Literature and Art (University of Minnesota Press). He co-translated Bäcker’stranscript and curated Landscape M, the first major exhibition of Bäcker’s visual works outside of Austria, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. He is an associate professor of German and comparative literature at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Charles Bernstein is author of Recalculating (University of Chicago Press, 2013), Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions (Chicago, 2011),  and All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010). He teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. More info at