‘My eyes are wide and yet I sway with sleep.’
‘Annotated with scholarly tact, finely rendered into English … this selection from Mörike is a joy, in just harmony with its content’ – George Steiner, Observer
Mozart’s Journey to Prague is a distillation of Mozart’s life in the form of an imaginary recreation of the journey he made with his wife Constanze from Vienna to Prague, to conduct the first performance of Don Giovanni. It is a sustained evocation of Mozart’s inner world and creativity, set in the socially fragile, rococo ambience of the Bohemian nobility. The atmosphere captures, like no other literary work, the spirit and presence of Mozart’s music.
This volume also contains a bilingual selection of Mörike’s poetry, including all the poems for which he is most loved, from folk ballad to Wordsworthian nature poems, from mock epic to the lyrical contemplation of particular objects, like the celebrated ‘On a Lamp’, a miniature counterpart to Keats’s ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’. It also contains the comic idyll, ‘The Auld Weathercock’, which Turgenev once recited by heart to its astonished author.
Eduard Mörike (1804–75) became a Protestant pastor, in which occupation he was seldom happy and from which he withdrew to become a teacher in a girls’ seminary in Stuttgart. He never travelled outside his native Württemberg, married a Catholic, and had two daughters.
This book was republished by Penguin Classics in 2005.