Dance of Death


Original Title: Totentanz

original edition

Paperback, with flaps, 112 pages, 11.8 x 18.7 cm, 4.6 x 7.4 in.
ISBN: 978-3-630-62109-8
€ 7.00 [D] | € 7.20 [A] | CHF 10.50 * (* rec. retail price) recommended retail price

Publishing House: Luchterhand Literaturverlag

Date of publication: March 5, 2007
This title is available.


Norbert  Hummelt - Dance of Death


Norbert Hummelt's new poems explore the threshold zones of life, childhood and death and the ambiguous borderline between sleep and being awake.

Norbert Hummelt ventures into those dark areas in which there are only questions and no answers, where there are – at best – only vague hopes and unrelieveable pain. With Hummelt, old motifs from art and literature become existential. Light and dark touch and penetrate each other; life before birth and after death comes into view, and the question about God is implicitly asked. At the same time, Hummelt's poems are borne by experience: the death and birth of loved ones, end and beginning and the way they inexplicably intertwine with one another – these are the driving force: the last things turn out to be the first.

All this is in a style that is immediately recognisable as Hummelt's own. His verses are classically structured and at the same time picked up from our conversations and thoughts. They shine into the depths of the soul; they occupy themselves with origins, retell family histories as if they were retelling human history. In this book, readers meet undead poets and other contemporaries. How happiness arises from the proximity to death; how the dead are still present in dreams, in absences, and execute their dance in our recollections, be they deliberate or spontaneous. All this is in these poems, in outwardly firm and inwardly strongly pulsating forms. Fears and wishes have been made to vibrate in the rhythm of the poems, until the poem itself becomes a dance of death.

For these poems, the author was awarded the New York Grant by the German Literature Fund.


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