The Third Walpurgis Night

The Complete Text

Karl Kraus; Translated from the German by Fred Bridgham and Edward Timms; Foreword by Marjorie Perloff

View Inside Price: $35.00


June 23, 2020
320 pages, 6 x 9
1 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300236002
Hardcover

The first complete English translation of a far-seeing polemic, written in 1933 by the preeminent German-language satirist, unmasking the Nazi seizure of power

Now available in English for the first time, Austrian satirist and polemicist Karl Kraus’s Third Walpurgis Night was written in immediate response to the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 but withheld from publication for fear of reprisals against Jews trapped in Germany. Acclaimed when finally published by Kösel Verlag in 1952, it is a devastatingly prescient exposure, giving special attention to the regime’s corruption of language as masterminded by Joseph Goebbels. Bertolt Brecht wrote to Kraus that, in his indictment of Nazism, “You have disclosed the atrocities of intonation and created an ethics of language.” This masterful translation, by the prizewinning translators of Kraus’s The Last Days of Mankind, aims for clarity where Kraus had good reason to be cautious and obscure.

Karl Kraus (1874–1936) was the preeminent German-language satirist, who conducted a sustained critique, notably of propaganda and the press, in his Viennese journal Die Fackel. Translators Fred Bridgham and the late Edward Timms were awarded the MLA Scaglione Prize for their translation of Kraus’s The Last Days of Mankind.

“[A] critical bombshell. . . . In the Age of Trump, Kraus’s book could hardly be more timely. . . . In its brilliant and cruel dissection of the Nazi media of 1933, The Third Walpurgisnacht is . . . a truly prophetic work.”—Marjorie Perloff, from the foreword
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