Thursday, December 13, 2007

On your genius, gentlemen!

Born 20 years after five ships under the command of Sir Francis Drake left Plymouth to sail around the world, and 140 years earlier than Robert Gernhardt, today Heinrich Heine would celebrate the 210th anniversary of his birth.

Well, he (possibly) can't; but by his work he made himself (hopefully) immortal.

nd Heinrich Heine Price laureate Robert Gernhardt, who died in June 2006? Too early to say he will be remembered in 200 years. For sure, in his lifetime he was one of if not the best German word magician.

So, gentlemen, thanks for giving me reason to raise my glass twice tonight: On your genius, Slàinte!


  1. These men do sound like geniuses, even though I am only hearing about them now. Hope to read some Heinrich Heine literature next time I visit the Library.

  2. Hallo Sean,

    Being a great admirer of Robert Gernhardt, I am astonished to read a homage to him on an English blog.

    Has he been translated or do you happen to know German?

    Cheers and Tinkety-tonk

  3. Ardent,
    "The Harz Journey and Selected Prose" (Penguin Classics) could be a nice starter. As for Heine's lyrics: just check the web.
    And please let me know your opinion.

    An Irish Harry Rowohlt being able to congenially translate Gernhardt has obviously not yet arrived on this planet. Thus, for a change, next Monday evening I shall read Bernstein’s Swabian version of “Erna, der Baum nadelt”. :)

    As for your question: The politest amongst my German friends now and then on special occasions would straight-faced murmur my German sounds quite acceptable - compared to certain celebrities like Edmund Stoiber, Ronald Pofalla, Lukas Podolski, Ulla Schmidt et al. who`d claim to be native speakers. :)