The University of Wisconsin Press
A Diary of Pique 1983–1984 / Ein Tagebuch des Grolls 1983–1984
A Bilingual Poetry Collection
TRANSLATED BY SABINE HÜBNER
On May 8, 1983, Carl Djerassi is rejected by the great love of his life, the renowned literary scholar and biographer Diane Middlebrook. Wounded and angry, this man of science seeks solace and release in an unexpected way: writing free verse poetry. Brutally open, Djerassi’s “poetic volcanic eruption” is the lyrical diary of a man full of anger and self-pity, grieving with unsparing honesty about the end of a relationship.
Offering deeply personal insights, the poems chronicle Djerassi’s emotional world in this period before the unexpected return of his beloved in 1984. He and Middlebrook married in 1985. Only some years after her death in 2007 did Djerassi return to these poems to revise them. They are published here for the first time, with German- and English-language versions on facing pages. The bilingual interplay between Djerassi’s mother tongue and his adopted literary language offers a richly intimate perspective on the scientist, the writer, the art connoisseur, and the romantic that is Carl Djerassi.
Carl Djerassi was born in Vienna and immigrated to the United States in 1939. Emeritus professor of chemistry at Stanford University and the recipient of both the National Medal of Science (for the first synthesis of an oral contraceptive) and the National Medal of Technology as well as 27 honorary doctorates, he is also the author of many literary works that have been translated into twenty languages, including Sex in an Age of Technological Reproduction and the play Foreplay, both published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Djerassi is the founder of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, an artist’s colony near San Francisco. He lives in San Francisco, London, and Vienna.
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192 pp. 5 x 8
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