"If We Had the Word": Ingeborg Bachmann, Views and Reviews (Book Review)

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



This collection of essays grew from a 1996 symposium held at SUNY-Binghamton to commemorate what would have been Ingeborg Bachmann's seventieth birthday. Gisela Brinker-Gabler, the symposium organizer, provides a brief foreword to the volume. Brinker-Gabler begins by articulating parallels between Ingeborg Bachmann and the poet Sylvia Plath, both in terms of their poetic prowess and their fascination with death, but the foreword is primarily a short literary biography of Bachmann, noting the highlights in her career and the difference in reception between her poetry and prose. While the foreword does serve to situate Bachmann as a writer, it does not provide an introduction to the collection of essays and is marred by moments of opaque phrasing and the unfortunate misspelling of Plath's name in the very first sentence.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2007, H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online. This article first appeared on H-German, H-Net Reviews (2007).

Please note that downloads of the article are for private/personal use only.