The End of the World Happened 100 Years Ago…

… when Jakob von Hoddis published  maybe his best known poem — & maybe the opening shot of Expressionism? — titled “Weltende,” “End of the World” —in the German paper Der Demokrat (well, he did so in three days, on 11 January, to be precise, so we can breathe easy until Tuesday):


Dem Bürger fliegt vom spitzen Kopf der Hut,
in allen Lüften hallt es wie Geschrei.
Dachdecker stürzen ab und gehn entzwei
und an den Küsten – liest man – steigt die Flut.

Der Sturm ist da, die wilden Meere hupfen
an Land, um dicke Dämme zu zerdrücken.
Die meisten Menschen haben einen Schnupfen.
Die Eisenbahnen fallen von den Brücken.

and today with apocalyptic translation software this becomes instantly and with the comedy situated elsewhere:

The citizens fly from the pointed top of the hat
ventilation in all the crying like crying.
Roofing crash and go in two
and on the coasts – to read – the tide is rising.

The storm is here, the wild seas hupfer
on land, to crush big dams.
Most people have a cold.
The railways are falling from the bridges.

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