The Lord Chandos Letter: And Other Writings

The Lord Chandos Letter: And Other Writings

Hugo von Hoffmannsthal made his mark as a poet, as a playwright, and as the librettist for Richard Strausss greatest operas, but he was no accomplished as a writer of short, strangely evocative prose works.

The "Letter" not only symbolized Hofmannsthal's own turn away from poetry, it captured the psychological crisis of faith and language which was to define the twentieth century.

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Sotto la veste fittizia di una lettera (il titolo originale è il molto semplice Ein Brief) scritta dallimmaginario Lord Philipp Chandos allamico e maestro Francis Bacon (come ben noto personaggio invece realmente esistito) nel 1603, non a caso in epoca barocca, il che significa scoperte scientifiche e geografiche, arte spumeggiante, qui si denuncia la condizione di crisi, angoscia, solitudine, impotenza, e infine, afasia, delluomo moderno, che si sente tradito dalla parola, impotente a penetrare lessenza delle cose, ormai incapace di esprimere quel che (probabilmente) è diventato inesprimibile, la realtà non più afferrabile, appunto, indicibile. Joseph Frank Buster Keaton E quindi, lo scrivente Lord Chandos dichiara al suo mentore che abbandona la professione di scrittore perché nessuna parola gli pare esprimere la realtà oggettiva: le cose non stanno più al loro posto e la lingua non le dice più: gli oggetti hanno unesistenza retrostante, annidata dietro la loro facciata e sotto la loro superficie, ed è proprio lintuizione di questa seconda o terza, o quarta realtà che mette fuori gioco le possibilità del linguaggio. Il vuoto che accoglie luomo sensibile allalba del Novecento, quanto tutto intorno appare sgretolarsi, a cominciare dalla sintassi, larchitettura della frase, basata sul predominio del soggetto sulloggetto, le cose Serve una lingua nuova, che Lord Chandos non conosce (la lingua di Freud?).

At a minimum, readers intending to read Enrique Vila-Matas Bartleby & Co. would be well-advised not only to read (or reread) Bartleby, the Scrivener, but also the last story in this collection. Dream DeathProse poem. Places with endless significance, quite unlike reality; districts Ive never seen, but which I know are thus and such.Dreams are always our own and true, if only in the time it takes to dream them.Tale of the 672nd NightA comfortable merchants son finds horror in trying to learn the nature of personal threats made against him and one of his servants. Tale of the Veiled WomanAs a young mother considers the fate of the child shes carrying and waits for her husband to return from the mines, she watches a young miner walking in the distance; in the mine, her husband (Hyacinthreally, Really!) meets the same young miner who encourages him to think and act on what is to be. No, its a prose poem. Military StorySchwendar, one of the squadrons dragoons, though haunted by two images of death from his youth, is able to find a contentedness among the squadron following a flash and another flash. A Letter the actual title of the better known titular pieceAn eloquent letter from Phillip, Lord Chandos, to Francis Bacon in which he reveals that language has failed experience and he will no longer write (create).

And, rather absurdly, I tried to explain this, this state of mind, this near-constant feeling of being behind glass, such that having a chat in a pub with two friends strikes me as a chore and my confession more like a duty. In your letter to Francis Bacon you state that you want to open yourself up entirely, or words to that effect, which seems like rather futile effort, in light of your issues and problems. You write about your previous achievements, and how you now feel distant from them, and from any future work. I do not believe in words, I do not understand them either; they are, to me, like an oppressive frame, a border, a barrier; they are a large sheet of glass upon which I unenthusiastically claw for appearances sake. Indeed, you write about how it came to be that words disintegrated in your mouth like rotten mushrooms. Which is a lovely image, even to me, a man who does not believe in words. You do a very good job throughout your letter of giving voice, of applying words, to your feelings, and yet to what extent do they capture your inner life? Words, like time, is a cage we have voluntarily built around ourselves. I would argue we dont, and cant, understand each other; we stand, each at opposing ends of an unbridgeable gulf, shouting absurdities into the wind. I wanted to end with an expression of gratitude, for I was, prior to this, myself close to the point of abandoning for good this so often unpleasant activity.

Good thing NYRB has now put this collection out, which includes The Letter, stories, and a few prose poems. Viennese literary prodigy whose Lord Chandos letter was his farewell to purely lyrical literature (before he was 30), as he was overcome with the emptiness of words.

Hugo Von Hofmannsthal has a fantastic name and every once in a while writes a clear sentence conveying a clear image but for the most part due most likely to a crappy translation mixed with antiquated story sensibilities admixed with weak sensory celebrations that seem more pathological than ecstatic, to borrow a phrase from the world of breastfeeding, I didn't latch with this one and thereby wasn't properly nourished.

Having read only this uneven volume of often underwhelming prose, I confess that I remain deeply confused about Broch's judgement.

Der Brief des Lord Chandos Bu Hugo von Hofmannsthal An Ode to literature is this selection of the author's numerous sharp-sighted essays on poetry and prose and his favourite classic writers. The Letter of Lord Chandos is, in short, the apology of a once-promising young author of having lost all capability of producing any new artwork.

George Steiner has written about "The Lord Chandos Letter" in "Real Presences." returnreturn"The Lord Chandos Letter" describes the author's mistrust of all words -- he is given to personal, incommunicable, "sublime" experiences, which can be set off by all kinds of small events: a water beetle rowing across the dark surface of water in a rain barrel; rats dying on the floor of a dairy barn, writhing in the lethal atmosphere of the "sharp, sweetish-smelling" poison; "a moss-covered stone," and "all the shabby and crude objects of a rogh life." In other words, he is no longer moved by the grand, beautiful, pompous, public displays of ordinary life, but only the forgtten, mislaid, overlooked, trivial, "meaningless" things that other people fail to notice.

There is a certain irony to the "story" itself in that he expresses beautifully in the letter itself what he means and why he will abandon language completely and withdraw from society.

Non siamo padroni del sé: ci viene incontro da fuori con un soffio, a lungo ci sfugge e torna a noi con un alito di vento. Non siamo che un crocevia.

All of which may have either sparked von Hofmannsthal's creative imagination, or resonated with his own direct experience to inspire the Lord Chandos Letter, it's difficult to say which...

Lord Chandos letter is the last chapter of the book and in my opinion, is the most interesting and mesmerising. The story is the letter written by Lord Chandos about his linguistic crisis.

  • English

  • European Literature

  • Rating: 4.14
  • Pages: 128
  • Publish Date: January 31st 2005 by NYRB Classics
  • Isbn10: 1590171209
  • Isbn13: 9781590171202