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About Michael Jarvie
Michael Jarvie is a working-class writer who has been excluded and marginalised by the bourgeois mainstream publishing industry. He is the author of the composite novel "The Prison", the thriller "Black Art", a complete edition of the poetry of Georg Trakl in translation entitled "Autumnal Elegies" and a collection of working-class life writing "Into the Silence."
With a BA Honours degree in English Language and Literature from Birmingham City University and an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from Teesside University, he has been interested in writing from an early age and, given his German heritage, is an accomplished translator from that particular language.
He also writes screenplays and poetry. When it comes to reading, he usually has several books on the go at the same time. Visit his website at https://www.michaeljarvie.com
Outside the realm of literature he enjoys listening to classical music and Krautrock, watching films, playing snooker badly, supporting Darlington FC, drinking the odd bottle of Chablis, eating his favourite dish of chicken Jalfrezi (ideally from The Spice Garden) and munching on Percy Pigs.
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The melancholy Expressionist poetry of Georg Trakl (1887-1914) resonates with a remarkable hermetic quality. Major twentieth-century figures such as Rainer Maria Rilke, Samuel Beckett, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Martin Heidegger admired his work.
Trakl’s short life burned intensely before it was quenched in the midst of the carnage of the First World War. A pharmacist and self-confessed drug addict, he committed suicide by taking an overdose of cocaine after the battle of Grodek, which also provides the title of his most famous poem.
The present edition includes all of the material that was published in the two collections Gedichte (1913) and Sebastian im Traum (1915) together with the poetry that appeared in the literary magazine Der Brenner (1914-15). It also includes a substantial biographical and critical introduction, explanatory notes and a comprehensive bibliography.
Five of the stories in The Prison are set in Birmingham, where the working-class protagonist finds himself struggling to cope with the harsh and alienating environment of inner-city life.
The nature of his imprisonment embraces such universal themes as the “mind-forged manacles” of religion, the demoralising effects of poverty, the constricting nature of the sex drive, the transitory nature of love or the drudgery of a worker trapped inside the “carceral machine.”
Despite being a thoroughly transgressive work, The Prison is simultaneously a cohesive and artfully structured short story cycle in the manner of Joyce’s Dubliners.