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Science in contemporary poetry: a point of comparison between Raoul Schrott and Durs Grünbein

Owen, Ruth J. 2001. Science in contemporary poetry: a point of comparison between Raoul Schrott and Durs Grünbein. German Life and Letters 54 (1) , pp. 82-96. 10.1111/1468-0483.00190

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One of the most striking characteristics of Raoul Schrott’s and Durs Grünbein’s poetry is its thematisation of science. Schrott and Grünbein are remarkably different contemporary poets however: in this paper I suggest that their conflicting uses of science in poetry constitute a useful point of comparison. Schrott’s scientists are poet-like figures who see the world in a new way, extending perspective and providing an example to the modern-day lyric subject. For Schrott, science is a set of metaphors, a benign language of poetry. In Grünbein’s poetry, science is a threat, a dominant, sanitising influence on modern life which, far from raising up humans as adventurers and explorers, diminishes them. Science here reveals only the serious meaninglessness of life and is taken up in the poetry as bravura and provocation. In this paper I demonstrate these tendencies through close textual analysis of a variety of poems by Schrott and Grünbein which were written in the 1990s.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0016-8777
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:55

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