Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) is mainly kwn to the English-speaking world as the author of the poetic drama Faust . In Europe - as poet, dramatist, velist, art critic, literary theoretician, travel writer, author of a treatise on light and colour, and prolific correspondent - he is regarded as the supreme Romantic literary figure. This selection is a classic introduction to one of the giants of European literature. It collects all the beautifully crafted versions Michael Hamburger has made over many years from all periods of Goethe's creative life, adding more than twenty new poems to Poems and Epigrams (1983), and including the complete text of Goethe's erotic masterpiece, the Roman Elegies . The critical introduction provides a valuable account of a writer who was, in the words of his translator, 'so many-sided as to constitute a whole literature'.
Michael Hamburger is a poet and critic and the outstanding contemporary translator of German poetry into English. His many awards include the Schlegel-Tieck Prize (1981), the German Federal Republic's Goethe Medal (1986) and the European Translation Prize (1990). Michael Hamburger's 'Collected Poems 1941-1994' is also published by Anvil, as are his selections from the poetry of Holderlin, Rilke and Celan, and his seminal critical work on modern poetry, 'The Truth of Poetry'.