"e;If it be permitted to speak of love at first sound, then thats what I experienced in my first encounter with this poet of prose."e; So said Thomas Mann of the work of PeterAltenberg. A virtuoso Fin-de-Sicle Viennese innovator of what he called the "e;telegram style"e; of writing, Altenbergs signature short prose straddles the line between the poetic and the prosaic, fiction and observation, harsh verity and whimsical vignette. Inspired by the prose poems of Charles Baudelaire and the Feuilletona light journalistic reflection of his dayAltenberg carved out a spare, strikingly modern aesthetic that speaks with an eerie prescience to our own impatient time. Peter Wortsmans new selection and translation reads like a sly lyrical wink from the turnof-the-century of the telegram to the turn-of-the-millennium of email.
Telegrams of the Soul