Walter Mehring

At the moment, Walter Mehring’s poems, essays and novels are out of print in both German and English. Mehring’s The Lost Library:The Autobiography of a Culture is, like Stefan Zweig’s The World of Yesterday, a paean to the humanist culture of Central Europe before the rise of Hitler.

Walter Mehring

You can read a short bio at Wikipedia and an obituary from the New York Times.

A number of Mehring’s poems were set to music. You can listen to several on YouTube: “Charité”, performed by Wacholder, and “American Riesenspielzeug”, sung by Joseline Gassen.

3 thoughts on “Walter Mehring

  1. I was led to “The Lost Library” a number of years ago by its being mentioned in “Writer’s Choice.” It lived up to the recommendation! It would be a natural for the NYRB Classics series; I’m rather surprised that they haven’t reprinted it yet.

    Of course, it is a somewhat melancholy reading experience, reminding one of Clive James’s brilliant observation: “One of the unfortunate side effects of studying German culture up to 1933, and the even richer Austrian culture up to 1938, is the depression induced by the gradual discovery of just how cultivated the two main German-speaking countries were. It didn’t help a bit.”

  2. Acc. to Serke “Die verbrannten Dichter”, he wrote a long autobiography, but the suitcase in which he deposited the manuscript got lost.

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