Completed some eight months before his death in November 1988, the poem “Sehnsucht” represents one final attempt at mapping out a conflicting experience of the apparently polar destinations hope and despair, between which Erich Fried (1921-1988) had oscillated, with varying amplitude, in the course of more than 60 years of political activity and writing. With this in mind, my paper will trace the contours of hope in the poetry of Erich Fried and discuss its relationship to hopelessness. Particularly, I seek to identify the fundamental characteristics of Fried’s own understanding of hope through a comparison with the features of hope as described in the writings of French philosopher Gabriel Marcel, German philosopher Günther Anders and as explicated in the tenets of the Sermon on the Mount.
|Keywords:||Hope, Despair, Gabriel Marcel, Erich Fried, Poetry|
Lecturer, Discipline Coordinator, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
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