My Heart: A Novel of Love by Else Lasker-Schüler
Translated by Sheldon Gilman and Robert Levine
‘I am wildly in love with someone, but I’ll say no more about it. That way it could always be .. you.’
Set around the Café des Westens, the epicenter of early twentieth century Expressionist Berlin, Else Lasker-Schüler chronicles the demise of her marriage in a series of letters to her husband Herwarth Walden, publisher of the avant-garde journal Der Sturm.
Assuming the guise of alter egos such as Tino of Baghad or the Prince of Thebes, she weaves a web of Oriental fantasies to inform her husband of her infidelities. In so doing, she transforms a personal crisis into a metaphor for the end of an era.
Starring a host of leading artists, including Karl Kraus, Alfred Döblin, Oskar Kokoschka, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Emil Nolde and Arnold Schönberg, My Heart offers an unforgettable insider’s glimpse into one of Berlin’s most artistically vibrant and fascinating periods.
This edition – the first English-language translation to appear to date – features an introduction by Professor Jakob Hessing of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a glossary of relevant names and terms.
About the Author
Else Lasker-Schüler (1869-1945) ranks among Germany’s greatest twentieth century authors. A poet, playwright and prose-stylist, Lasker-Schüler was the leading female proponent of the Expressionist movement which dominated German art and literature in the decade before WWI. She was also famous for her Bohemian lifestyle and unconventional appearance. In 1932, shortly before she fled the country following the Nazis’ rise to power, she was awarded the prestigious Kleist prize. After periods in Switzerland, Egypt and Palestine, she settled in Jerusalem, where she lived until her death in 1945.
About the Translators
Sheldon Gilman and Robert Levine, respectively Professor of German and Professor of English at Boston University, have co-translated a variety of work by German Expressionist authors, ranging from the prose and poetry of Alfred Lichtenstein to short stories by Else Lasker-Schüler, Albert Ehrenstein and Mynona (Salomo Friedlaender).