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Oskar Kokoschka’s The Dreaming Youths

Part 8: Boatmen Calling

Kokoschka’s prose-poem, with its trance-like, episodic narrative, has its roots in Symbolist poetry of the late 19th century. Appearing alongside one another, the text and images lack any direct relationship. Here, the boatmen are threatened by voracious red fish which may relate to the ‘little red fish’ in the opening lines of the poem on the previous page.

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