Ingeborg Bachmann, Letters to Felician
Green Integer, 2004; edited, introduced, and translated from German
An unclassifiable work by the great postwar Austrian poet and prose writer. These letters, written when Bachmann was only 18 and 19 and about to go to college, are passionate declarations of love to a male figure, Felician, but as in Emily Dickinson's "Master Letters" the recipient may well be imaginary: the one she longs to throw herself at the feet of is her own creative, intellectual life. The male/female splitting foreshadows her masterpiece Malina, and the letters are also a hymn to the beauty of southern Austria, underlying Bachmann's utopian visions of her later work.
This edition's reordering of the German text and inclusion of additional poems is now the basis of, for example, the French edition.
Online resources (in German)