Trakl, Georg

Trakl, Georg

▪ Austrian poet
born Feb. 3, 1887, Salzburg, Austria
died Nov. 3, 1914, Cracow, Galicia, Austria-Hungary [now Kraków, Pol.]

      Expressionist (Expressionism) poet whose personal and wartime torments made him Austria's foremost elegist of decay and death. He influenced Germanic poets after both world wars.

      Trakl trained as a pharmacist at the University of Vienna (1908–10). He led an unhappy existence; he was moody and withdrawn and had become addicted to drugs as early as 1904. Moreover, he felt an incestuous attraction to his younger sister Margarete and was plagued by restless wanderlust.

      The patronage of a periodical publisher and of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (Wittgenstein, Ludwig), who secretly gave him part of a patrimony, enabled Trakl to devote himself to poetry; he brought out his first volume, Gedichte (“Poems”), in 1913. The following year he became a lieutenant in the army medical corps and, in Galicia, was placed in charge of 90 serious casualties whose agonies he, as a mere dispensing chemist, could hardly relieve. One patient killed himself while Trakl watched helplessly; he also saw deserters being hanged. He either attempted or threatened to shoot himself in the aftermath of these horrors and was sent to a military hospital at Cracow for observation. There he died of an overdose of cocaine, perhaps taken inadvertently.

      Trakl's intense lyrics infuse lamentation for the present with longing for a pastoral past. Much of his work is rife with negative, often disturbing imagery. A volume of selected poems, translated into English by Lucia Getsi as Poems, was published in 1973.

Additional Reading
Herbert Lindenberger, Georg Trakl (1971); Richard Detsch, Georg Trakl's Poetry (1983); Eric Williams (ed.), The Dark Flutes of Fall: Critical Essays on Georg Trakl (1991).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Trakl, Georg — (1887–1914)    Born and raised in Salzburg, Trakl had a troubled childhood and an even more problematic adolescence. His relationship with his mother was particularly strained. Though he was intensely close to a younger sister, her claim that… …   Historical dictionary of Austria

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  • Trakl — Georg Trakl Georg Trakl, né le 3 février 1887 à Salzbourg, Autriche et décédé le 3 novembre 1914 à Cracovie, est un poète autrichien. Il est l un des représentants majeurs de l expressionnisme. Georg Trakl laissa comme… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Trakl — Georg Trakl Georg Trakl (* 3. Februar 1887 in Salzburg; † 3. November 1914 in Krakau, Galizien) war ein österreichischer Lyriker des Expressionismus mit starken Einflüssen des Symbolismus …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Georg Trakl — Born 3 February 1887(1887 02 03) Salzburg, Duchy of Salzburg Died 3 November 1914(1914 11 03) (aged 27) Cracow, Austria Hungary (now …   Wikipedia

  • Georg Trakl — Nombre completo Georg Trakl Nacimiento 3 de febrero de 1887 …   Wikipedia Español

  • TRAKL (G.) — TRAKL GEORG (1887 1914) Né le 3 février 1887 à Salzbourg dans une famille aisée, Georg Trakl mènera une vie qui sera tout le contraire d’une carrière bourgeoise: échec au lycée, drogue, alcool, inceste avec sa sœur Margarete, instabilité… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Trakl — Trakl,   Georg, österreichischer Lyriker, * Salzburg 3. 2. 1887, ✝ Krakau 3. 11. 1914. Nach dem Abgang vom Gymnasium 1905 Apothekerlehre in Salzburg, erste dichterische Versuche und Drogenerfahrungen, 1908 11 Pharmaziestudium und Militärdienst in …   Universal-Lexikon

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