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Hyperion, or the Hermit in Greece

Hyperion, or the Hermit in Greece Howard Gaskill
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78374-655-2 £16.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78374-656-9 £26.95
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This edition will do much to make Hölderlin more accessible to the anglophone reader – or indeed to anyone who is unfamiliar with the work’s premises and unique structure (...) and Gaskill’s Afterword provides many of the tools for understanding the argument of the work.
— Charles Lewis, Translation and Literature, vol. 28, 2019

Hölderlin's only novel, Hyperion, is still not widely enough known in the English-speaking world despite its unquestionable importance. Now its moment has come in a new translation by Howard Gaskill, who probably knows the book better than anyone else alive. His version is the fruit of long years of loving attention, and it catches much of the beauty and texture of the original—its rhythms, diction, variety and shifts of style.
Prof. Charlie Louth, University of Oxford

This is a superb version of Hölderlin's novel: accurate, elegant and inspiring. It will at long last bring this major text of German literature within the reach of the Anglophone public. Although Hölderlin is acclaimed as a poet among English-speaking readers and is also known as a philosopher, his achievement as a novelist has hitherto remained unrecognised. Gaskill will remedy this and henceforth this great novel will be read by students of European Romanticism and all lovers of Hölderlin's work.
Prof. Jeremy D. Adler, King's College London

Friedrich Hölderlin’s only novel, Hyperion (1797–99), is a fictional epistolary autobiography that juxtaposes narration with critical reflection. Returning to Greece after German exile, following his part in the abortive uprising against the occupying Turks (1770), and his failure as both a lover and a revolutionary, Hyperion assumes a hermitic existence, during which he writes his letters. Confronting and commenting on his own past, with all its joy and grief, the narrator undergoes a transformation that culminates in the realisation of his true vocation.

Though Hölderlin is now established as a great lyric poet, recognition of his novel as a supreme achievement of European Romanticism has been belated in the Anglophone world. Incorporating the aesthetic evangelism that is a characteristic feature of the age, Hyperion preaches a message of redemption through beauty. The resolution of the contradictions and antinomies raised in the novel is found in the act of articulation itself. To a degree remarkable in a prose work of any length, what it means is inseparable from how it means. In this skilful translation, Gaskill conveys the beautiful music and rhythms of Hölderlin’s language to an English-speaking reader.

Hyperion, or the Hermit in Greece
Friedrich Hölderlin. Translated by Howard Gaskill | February 2019
234 pp. | 1 B&W illustration | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
Open Book Classics Series, vol. 10 | ISSN: 2054-216X (Print); 2054-2178 (Online)
ISBN Paperback: 9781783746552
ISBN Hardback: 9781783746569
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783746576
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783746583
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783746590
ISBN Digital (XML): 9781783746675
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0160
Subject codes: BIC: D (Literature and literary studies), FC (Classic fiction (pre c. 1945)), FQ (Myth and legend told as fiction), FV (Historical fiction); BISAC: LIT004170 (Literary criticism: German), FOR009000 (FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY / German), FIC032000 (FICTION / War & Military); OCLC Number: 1089990788.

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Hyperion, or the Hermit in Greece

Volume One


Book One

Book Two

Volume Two

Book One

Book Two



Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Index of Proper Names

Howard Gaskill is an Honorary Fellow in German at the University of Edinburgh, where he taught for 32 years, retiring as Reader in 2001. His main research interests have focused on German literature of the Goethe period (in particular Hölderlin); Scottish-German literary relations (in particular Ossianism); ‘Ossian’-Macpherson and his European impact; literary translation.