BREVIER by Hanns Heinz Ewers, translated by Joe E. Bandel. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK; Side Real Press; 2012. 1st edition hardcover. LIMITED TO 200 NUMBERED COPIES. NOW OUT OF PRINT FROM THE PUBLISHER.
Hanns Heinz Ewers (1872-1943) was the most successful writer of 'strange' fiction of the early twentieth century. He is perhaps best known today for his trilogy of weird novels featuring Frank Braun, but he also wrote numerous short stories, poetry, plays and screenplays as well as the first German musical and books related to his extensive travels worldwide.
His personal life was no less interesting, he was a spy during World War One, an early advocate of homosexual rights, a prodigeous experimenter with all kinds of drugs and had an interest in the occult. He was friendly with many of the political elite but it was his involvement with the Nazis that ultimately resulted in his fall from grace when he undertook - supposedly at Hitlers request - to write the official history of Horst Wessel for the Party. Quite why the Nazis allowed this to occur given his decadent history is unclear, but they subsequently rejected Ewers and his work - not least for their discovery that ewers was a philo- rather than anti-Semite - by banning his books and declaring him an 'un-person'. He died in Berlin in 1943.
'Brevier', originally published in 1922 (and translated for the first time into English by Joe E. Bandel), is an anthology of Ewers writings jointly selected by his friend (Arthur Gerstel) and secretary (Rolf Bongs) arranged around various themes such as Music, Art, Love, Philosophy, Religion, and Politics. the final section is titled 'In Person'.
The texts include (often lengthy) excerpts from a wide variety of his works, the 'Frank Braun' trilogy, ('Sorcerers Apprentice', 'Alraune' and 'Vampire') short stories, poetry, travelogues and introductions written for other authors books. Many of these are newly translated. The book also contains rarely seen photos of Ewers, some newly restored by Side Real from the originals held in various archives.
This makes 'Brevier' an excellent introduction to Ewers and his written works. However, even those familiar with his ouvre will find it of interest for the insight it provides into his mind at a critical juncture in his life having only recently returned to Germany after his release from American internment for spying and before his involvement with the NDASP.
• Introduction by Georg Goyert.
• Art and the Artist.
• Philosophical Observations.
• Peoples and Lands.
• Politics and Love of the Fatherland.
• In Person.
• (illustrated with rare photos of Ewers, his mother and father).
Fine in pictorial boards without dj as issued. Foreign rates figured individually.
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