Gottfried Benn

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Benn, Gottfried


Born May 2, 1886, in Mansfeld; died July 7, 1956, in West Berlin. German writer and art theoretician.

Benn participated in World War I as a doctor, and in World War II he served in the ranks of Hitler’s army. The first collections of his poems, Morgue (1912) and Sons (1913), marked the beginning of German expressionist poetry. In his poetry Benn drew deformed pictures of life and death in a big city. The collections Flesh (1917), Rubbish (1919), and Splintering (1925) are inspired by the same pessimism. In 1933, Benn tried to cooperate with the Nazis, but he soon realized the inhumanity of their ideology, and from 1935 the Nazi press began to persecute him. After 1945, his absolute hostility toward the world became sharper, as is apparent in his collections Static Verses (1948) and Distillation (1953) and in his surrealistic prose piece Ptolemäer (1949). Benn’s essays Must Poetry Improve the World? (published in 1957) expresses his mood of hopelessness, whereas art has become for Benn a sort of absolute.


Gesammelte Werke, vols. 1–4. [Wiesbaden, 1958–60.]
Den Traum alleine tragen. Wiesbaden [1966].
Doppelleben [Munich, 1967.]


Lohner, E. Gottfried Benn: Bibliographie, 1912–1956. Wiesbaden, 1958.


References in periodicals archive ?
Gottfried Benn, famous Expressionist poet in the Weimar period and Nobel prize nominee after the war, was briefly head of the Prussian Academy and spokesman for the evolution of a new human type under the Third Reich.
The painful rendering of a double-faced Giinter Grass quadruples in torment when discovering the deeply psychic division of Gottfried Benn, whose autobiographical Doppelleben grossly underestimates the consequences of a life ruptured by history and circumstance.
El me busco cuando publique una traduccion del poeta aleman Gottfried Benn, que tuvo cercania con el regimen nazi en los anos treinta del siglo XX.
Morgue), y Otros poemas expresionistas, del aleman Gottfried Benn (Jesus Munarriz).
Thirty-four chapters cover the following: Klaus Merz, Gottfried Benn, Lorenzo Calogero, Friedrich H|lderlin, Alfredo de Palchi, Sandro Penna, Patricia Cavalli, Kiki Dimoula, Manolis Xexakis, Tsvetanka Elenvoka, Benjamin Fondane, George Szirtes, Emil Hakl, Yves Bonnefoy, and Vicente Alexixandre.
A case in point takes up Senes's antepenultimate chapter, dedicated to German expressionist poet Gottfried Benn.
Certainly Hitler attacked dadaism, cubism and futurism, yet at the same time Mies van der Rohe and Gropius were being encouraged to seek Nazi patronage, and Gottfried Benn, the ultra-modernist poet, remained a member of the elite Prussian Academy of Art.
He proposes readings of the poems which, while not losing sight of Gottfried Benn, the author, 'remain alive to the relationship between the fluid textuality of his poems, the intellectual values that inform them, and the complex personae and positions of speech, with their own fissures, tensions and points of conflict, that they articulate' (p.
This anthology is full of intriguing references to modern European literary and artistic figures, including such stars of the cultural Right as Louis-Ferdinand Celine, Gottfried Benn, and T.
Gottfried Benn, who established his reputation as an Expressionist poet with his 1912 lyric cycle Morgue und andere Gedichte, counts as one of the most scandalous amongst German Expressionists: Critics deemed his poems, which revolved around bodies in decay disgusting, perverted, and brutal.
East German thinkers like Gottfried Benn retreated inward.
In order to illuminate the bifurcation in the poetics of Celan and Benn, Sideras argues convincingly for reconsideration of hitherto neglected texts: Roman des Phanotyp (1945) by Gottfried Benn, and Edgar Jene und der Traum von Traume (1948) by Celan.