Colour is a problem for poetry, where - unlike in painting, sculpture or film - itis marked by its absence. This absence raises questions that have often beenoverlooked in the study of colour: how do writers navigate the invisibility ofcolour in text? What aesthetic commitments do certain attitudes to colourexpose? And how, in the face of its absence, do we read colour?This ambitious and exciting study addresses these questions, analysing theuse of colour language in the work of Stefan George, Rainer Maria Rilke,Wassily Kandinsky and Else Lasker-Schüler to tease out how these poetsunderstood poetic production, and how they negotiated the relations betweenpoem, reader and world. Covering the poetry, prose, translation, literary and artcriticism and theory of these and other writers central to European literatureat the turn of the twentieth century, Reading Colour sheds new light on poeticpractice of the period, but also uses colour to open up an understanding ofhow poetic language works, and to ask how we read poetry.This book was the winner of the 2018 Early Career Researcher Prize in GermanStudies, a collaboration between the Institute for German Studies at theUniversity of Birmingham and Peter Lang.
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