In these ninety-nine meditations, poet and novelist Hans Magnus Enzensberger celebrates the tenacity of the normal and routine in everyday life, where the survival of the objects we use without thinking - a pair of scissors, perhaps - is both a small, human victory and a quiet reminder of our own ephemeral nature. He sets his quotidian reflections against a broad historic and political backdrop - the cold war and its accompanying atomic threat, the German student revolt, would-be socialism in Cuba, China, and Africa, and World War II as experienced by the youthful poet. Enzensberger's poems are conversational, skeptical, and serene; they culminate in the extended set of observations that gives the collection its title. Clouds, alien and yet symbols of human life, are for Enzensberger at once a central metaphor of the Western poetic tradition and "the most fleeting of all masterpieces. 'Cloud archaeology', writes Enzensberger, is "a science for angels.
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Used availability for Hans Magnus Enzensberger's A History of Clouds
June 2010 : UK Hardback