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The Huffington Post Describes the Near-Detective Investigation by Elana Wolff to Uncover Langer’s Lost Book of Poetry

A Hunger Artist“All any of us wants is to be seen and to be heard. This longing is at the core of our human beingness. Most never get the opportunity to share their life story in a way that impacts many. Why some people become famous and others, equally as gifted, remain obscured to the annals of history is a compelling study in itself.”

Starts the feature by Beverley Golden.

With Guernica’s flip book and dual translation A Hunger Artist and Other Stories; Poems and Songs of Love, it’s easy to get captivated by the well-known Kafka. But, in this case, one of the most fascinating aspects of the book, Golden points out, is the story of Kafka’s friend Langer. Langer, who, unlike his friend, is anything but a household name and whose poetry, up until very recently, you almost couldn’t find at all.

“How this book came about is the fascinating part of this story to me.” writes Golden, “The Langer half of the collection took seed when Toronto poet and artist, Elana Wolff, was researching Kafka for an in-depth biography presentation at Arscura – School for Living Art. She found several brief references to fellow Prague writer Georg Mordechai Langer, (1894-1943), in biographies on Kafka and in Kafka’s own Diaries and Letters. There was little explanation or detail of why or who he was. She became intrigued and wondered, “Who was Langer and what was his relationship to Kafka?” It became her mission to uncover the unknown.”

In a world where so many books and so much information is available online, it’s hard to imagine a book truly hard to find. But Elana Wolff’s search almost ended empty-handed. The book was not available online, or in libraries. She couldn’t even find a copy in rare bookstores in Tel Aviv, and the only glimmer of hope -The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, had a copy in storage that Wolff was warned could take almost a week to locate. They also warned her that in such a case, it was likely that they might not be able to find the book at all.

In her feature on the book, Beverly Golden takes us on that journey to uncover Langer’s lost book of poetry from the moment Elana Wolff first reads brief mentions of the poet, right up to the moment where she finally gets to hold the book in her hands.

To read the full feature, you can visit The Huffington Post at:

To purchase your copy of A Hunger Artist and Other Stories; Poems and Songs of Love, you can visit the Guernica website at:

Posted in News, Poetry, Reviews.

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