Abstract / DOI
Ernst Meister’s Conversation with Poetry and Mysticism.Although Ernst Meister was honoured with prizes and recognized among experts, he never became as popular as his contemporary, Paul Celan. Meister was called «poet of the death», and his poems have a reputation of being esoteric and inaccessible. Yet, by adopting an intertextual and spiritual perspective, some of them become clearly understandable. Three dimensions are shown to be relevant to an interpretation of his poem Im Tode: The poet refers to Meister Eckhart’s Sermon on Poverty; he poetically treats Celan’s suicide and he takes a stance on Celan’s poetology. This avenue may be the key to interpreting other poems as well, as shown by the poem Variation zu Augustin. This poem’s knowledge and insight are reinvigorated by the new interpretation. Thus, in a «musical»way Meister integrates some statements from Augustinus’ confessiones into a poetic conception, based on Thomas Mann’s and Theodor Adorno’s reflections on the musical variation.