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Georg Trakl

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Georg Trakl

Georg Trakl
Born (1887-02-03)3 February 1887
Salzburg, Duchy of Salzburg
Died 3 November 1914(1914-11-03) (aged 27)
Kraków, Austria-Hungary (now Poland)
Occupation Poet, pharmacist, writer
Citizenship Austro-Hungarian
Alma mater University of Vienna (pharmacy)
Literary movement Expressionism
A poem by Trakl inscribed on a plaque in Mirabell Garden, Salzburg.

Georg Trakl (3 February 1887 – 3 November 1914) was an Austrian poet and brother of the pianist Grete Trakl. He is considered one of the most important Austrian Expressionists.[1]


  • Life and work 1
  • Bibliography 2
  • Poetry of Trakl in music 3
  • Movies Regarding Georg Trakl 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7
    • Online texts 7.1

Life and work

Trakl was born and lived the first 21 years of his life in Salzburg, Cisleithania. His father, Tobias Trakl (11 June 1837, Ödenburg/Sopron – 1910),[2] was a dealer of hardware from Hungary, while his mother, Maria Catharina Halik (17 May 1852, Wiener Neustadt – 1925), was a housewife of Czech descent. His sister Grete Trakl was a musical prodigy; with her he shared artistic endeavors.[3]

Trakl attended a Catholic elementary school, although his parents were Protestants. He matriculated in 1897 at the Salzburg Staatsgymnasium, where he studied Latin, Greek, and mathematics. At age 13, Trakl began to write poetry.

After quitting high school, Trakl worked for a pharmacist for three years and decided to adopt pharmacy as a career. It was during this time that he experimented with

  • Red Yucca – German Poetry in Translation (trans. Eric Plattner)
  • Translation of Trakl Poem
  • Translations of Trakl on PoemHunter — PDF
  • Twenty Poems, trans. by James Wright and Robert Bly — PDF file of a 1961 translation, listed in Bibliography
  • The Complete Writings of Georg Trakl in English – translations by Wersch and Jim Doss

Online texts

  • Hearing Heidegger and Saussure Trakl's poem, "A Winter Evening," in Heidegger's theory of language.

External links

  1. ^ "Georg Trakl".  
  2. ^ Hardware dealer Tobias Trakl from West Hungary relocated to Wiener Neustadt for professional reasons. [1], [2], [3], [4]
  3. ^ Marty Bax: Immer zu wenig Liebe. Grete Trakl. Ihr feinster Kuppler. Ihre Familie. Amsterdam 2014, E-Book [5].
  4. ^ Sieglinde Klettenhammer, Georg Trakl in Zeitungen und Zeitschriften seiner Zeit: Kontext und Rezeption (Vienna: Inst. für Germanistik, 1990).
  5. ^ "Georg Trakl – Life and work, Critical appraisal, Online texts, Bibliography". Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  6. ^ James Wright and Robert Bly (22 August 2008). "Georg Trakl: Twenty Poems". Scribd. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  7. ^ Library of Congress catalogue listing, retrieved 2011-06-25.
  8. ^ (Russian) Official site of David Fyodorovich Tukhmanov
  9. ^ [6]
  10. ^ [7]
  11. ^


See also

  • Tabu - Es ist die Seele ein Fremdes auf Erden (May 31st 2012)[11]

Movies Regarding Georg Trakl

  • Sebastian im Traum, 2004 orchestral composition by Hans Werner Henze based on Trakl's work.
  • Russian composer David Tukhmanov wrote a triptych for mezzo-soprano and piano titled Dream of Sebastian, or Saint Night, which is based on the poems of Trakl. The first performance took place in 2007.[8]
  • Kristalliner Schrei, a 2014 setting of three poems from Gedichte for mezzo-soprano and string quartet
  • 6 Lieder nach Gedichten von Georg Trakl, Op. 14 by Anton Webern. [9]
  • Trakl Gedichte by Philippe Manoury published by Éditions Durand [10]
  • Paul Hindemith: Die Junge Magd - Sechs Gedichte von Georg Trakl für eine Altstimme mit Flöte, Klarinette und Streichquartett, opus 23 Nr.2

Poetry of Trakl in music

  • Richard Millington, Snow from Broken Eyes: Cocaine in the Lives and Works of Three Expressionist Poets, Peter Lang AG, 2012
Critical studies
  • Decline: 12 Poems, trans. Michael Hamburger, Guido Morris / Latin Press, 1952
  • Twenty Poems of George Trakl, trans. James Wright & Robert Bly, The Sixties Press, 1961
  • Selected Poems, ed. Christopher Middleton, trans. Robert Grenier et al., Jonathan Cape, 1968[7]
  • Georg Trakl: Poems, trans. Lucia Getsi, Mundus Artium Press, 1973
  • Georg Trakl: A Profile, ed. Frank Graziano, Logbridge-Rhodes, 1983
  • Song of the West: Selected Poems, trans. Robert Firmage, North Point Press, 1988
  • The Golden Goblet: Selected Poems of Georg Trakl, 1887–1914, trans. Jamshid Shirani & A. Maziar, Ibex Publishers, 1994
  • Autumn Sonata: Selected Poems of Georg Trakl, trans. Daniel Simko, Asphodel Press, 1998
  • Poems and Prose, Bilingual edition, trans. Alexander Stillmark, Libris, 2001
    • Re-edition: Poems and Prose. A Bilingual Edition, Northwestern University Press, 2005
  • To the Silenced: Selected Poems, trans. Will Stone, Arc Publications, 2006
  • In an Abandoned Room: Selected Poems by Georg Trakl, trans. Daniele Pantano, Erbacce Press, 2008
  • Song of the Departed: Selected Poems of George Trakl, trans. Robert Firmage, Copper Canyon Press, 2012
  • "Uncommon Poems and Versions by Georg Trakl", trans. James Reidel, Mudlark No. 53, 2014
Literary works in English
  • Gedichte (Poems), 1913
  • Sebastian im Traum (Sebastian in the Dream), 1915
  • Der Herbst des Einsamen (The Autumn of The Lonely), 1920
  • Gesang des Abgeschiedenen (Song of the Departed), 1933
Selected titles


At the beginning of World War I, Trakl was sent as a medical official to attend soldiers in Galicia (comprising portions of modern-day Ukraine and Poland). Trakl suffered frequent bouts of depression.[5] During one such incident in Gródek (ukrain. Horodok) near Lwiw in present Ukraine, Trakl had to steward the recovery of some ninety soldiers wounded in the fierce campaign against the Russians. He tried to shoot himself from the strain, but his comrades prevented him. Hospitalized at a military hospital in Kraków and observed closely, Trakl lapsed into worse depression and wrote to Ficker for advice. Ficker convinced him to communicate with Wittgenstein. Upon receiving Trakl's note, Wittgenstein went to the hospital, but found that Trakl had died of a cocaine overdose.[6] Trakl was buried at Kraków's Rakowicki Cemetery on 6 November 1914, but on 7 October 1925, as a result of the efforts by Ficker, his remains were transferred to Mühlau near Innsbruck (where they now repose next to Ficker's).

In 1908, Trakl moved to Vienna to study pharmacy, and became acquainted with some local artists who helped him publish some of his poems. Trakl's father died in 1910, soon before Trakl received his pharmacy certificate; thereafter, Trakl enlisted in the army for a year-long stint. His return to civilian life in Salzburg was unsuccessful and he re-enlisted, serving as a pharmacist at a hospital in Innsbruck. There he became acquainted with a group of avant-garde artists involved with the well-regarded literary journal Der Brenner, a journal that began the Kierkegaard revival in the German-speaking countries.Ludwig von Ficker, the editor of the journal Der Brenner (and son of the historian Julius von Ficker), became his patron: he regularly printed Trakl's work and endeavored to find him a publisher to produce a collection of poems. The result of these efforts was Gedichte (Poems), published by Kurt Wolff in Leipzig during the summer of 1913. Ficker also brought Trakl to the attention of Ludwig Wittgenstein, who anonymously provided him with a sizable stipend so that he could concentrate on his writing.


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