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"Fackel in Der Dammerung": Erich Fried and the Message of Matthew 5. 13-14

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Badger, B (2005) "Fackel in Der Dammerung": Erich Fried and the Message of Matthew 5. 13-14. AUMLA: Journal of the Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association, 104. pp. 65-78. ISSN 0001-2793

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Abstract

For more than half a century the career of Austrian exile poet Erich Fried remained fuelled by the same essential desire for world-improvement, which he expressed in juvenile writings prior to his flight to England in 1938. Throughout the course of Fried’s career, the author’s attempts to expose and combat injustice in any form did not merely represent abstract utopian yearnings, instead they more closely corresponded to the concrete variant of utopia identified by Ernst Bloch in Das Prinzip Hoffnung, a utopia striving which involves both wishful and wilful components. It becomes apparent throughout Erich Fried’s work that one mechanism for enabling similar concrete utopian strivings in others is, in the poet’s view, embodied by the message of the Sermon on the Mount, in particular the message of Matthew 5.13-14. A number of Fried’s poems by are thus interpretations of Jesus’ call for us to be as ‘salt of the earth’ and ‘light of the world’. His ambition can be interpreted as one of awakening, through the flint-stone of literature, a greater critical awareness of current developments in the individual, who has long been convinced of his or her inability to effect change and has stopped seeing, hearing or understanding.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: AUMLA: Journal of the Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association
Page Range: pp. 65-78
ISSN: 0001-2793
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2008 23:41
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:30
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/3277
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