On the Death of Siegfried Lenz ? ?You have to justify your life?

Siegfried Lenz, one of the great writers of German post-war literature is dead. He died on 7 October 2014, surrounded by his family. He was 88 years old.... more more

GoetheInstitute

Language without a childhood

Monday 23 January 2012

TeaserPicTurkish-born author, actor and director Emine Sevgi Özdamar was recently awarded the Alice Salomon Prize for Poetics. Coming to West Berlin in 1965, Özdamar first learned German at the age of 19. After stage school she went on to become the directorial assistant to Benno Besson and Matthias Langhoff at the Volksbühne in East Berlin while still living in West Berlin. Harald Jähner warmly lauds the author's uniquely visual sense of her acquired language and her ability to overcome the seemingly insurmountable dividing line through the city.
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Just one drop of forgetfulness

Thursday 8 December, 2011

TeaserPicThis year is the 200th anniversary of the death of German writer Heinrich von Kleist. The author Gertrud Leutenegger has a very Kleistian afternoon on Elba, when she encounters the Marquise von O in the waiting room of a very strange eye doctor.
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Torment and blessing

Wednesday 28 September, 2011

Chinese dissident Liao Yiwu escaped into exile in Germany in July this year. His new book about his life in Chongqing prison has just been published in German as "Für Ein Lied und Hundert Lieder". Both book and author have a life-threatening odyssey behind them. I am overjoyed that Liao Yiwu is here with us and not at home in prison. By Herta Müller
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Head versus hand

Monday 27 June, 2011

TeaserPicThis year's German International Literature Award goes to "Venushaar", a Russian novel that starts out as a dialogue between an asylum seeker and an immigration officer, and opens into a vast choir of voices. A conversation with its author Mikhail Shishkin, a literary giant in his own country, and his German translator Andreas Tretner. By Ekkehard Knörer. (Image: Mikhail Shishkin © Yvonne Böhler)
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Cry for life

Monday 20 May, 2011

Algeria's youth: Frustrated, isolated and in the stranglehold of clandestine political structures. Young Algerians are rebelling against being locked in traditional political and social structures, but have no chance of a national uprising like that in Tunisia, says Algerian author Boualem Sansal. An interview with Reiner Wandler.
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Witness to intellectual suicide

Tuesday 3 May, 2011

TeaserPicOn what would have been Romanian philosopher E.M. Cioran's 100th birthday, Suhrkamp has published a volume of his essays from the 1930s, "Über Deutschland". Effervescing with enthusiasm for Hitler and fascist ideas, they cast a dark shadow over his later writing. Fritz Raddatz wishes he'd never had to read such abominations and bids a former companion a bitter farewell. Photo: E.M. Cioran © Surhrkamp Verlag
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RIP Andre Müller

Wednesday 13 April, 2011

TeaserPicAndre Müller Germany's most insightful and most feared interviewer is dead. Elfriede Jelinek said of him in her obituary: "Andre Müller goes all the way into people and then he makes them into language, and only then do they become themselves." Read his interviews with Ingmar Bergman and Hitler's sculptor Arno Breker in English. Photo courtesy Bibliothek der Provinz
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Blindly working through the past

Monday 12 July, 2010

TeaserPicFormer East-German novelist Christa Wolf has spent a lifetime writing against forgetting and the repression of guilt. But the will to remember, it seems, has not been enough to prevent her from doing exactly that. Her biographer Jörg Magenau reviews her new autobiographical novel "Stadt der Engel", which ends in Death Valley. Perhaps 'dead end' would have been more to the point. Photo:©Susanne Schleyer
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"Don't let this become a witch hunt"

Thursday 18 March, 2010

TeaserPicThe Austrian writer Josef Haslinger talks about his sexual encounters with paedophile priests as a boy in a Catholic boarding school. Instead of joining the chorus of moral outrage, he acknowledges the full spectrum of feelings that these episodes provoked, and argues that simple criminalisation is not the way forward.
Photo: Josef Haslinger by Tom Langdon
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Kapuscinki's poetic license

Wednesday 10 March, 2010

Artur Domoslawksi's biography "Ryszard Kapuscinski non-fiction" sparked controversy even before it was published. Not only does it show the legendary reporter warts and all, it also shows where the reportage ends and fiction begins.  Polityka's Daniel Passent meets the author who, in spite of it all, still regards Kapuscinski as his friend and master.
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Call the spade a spade

Friday 5 March, 2010

TeaserPicSince its publication in January, Helene Hegemann's novel "Axolotl Roadkill" has been at the centre of a debate whose vagaries of terminology have allowed the seriousness of the case to be downplayed. Philipp Theisohn wishes the literary establishment would drop all its talk of intertextuality in favour of a more democratic category: plagiarism.
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Travelling on one leg

Friday 16 October, 2009

"Herta Müller has eyes like spotlights that drive out the darkness night after night." So begins Verena Auffermann's portrait of this year's literary Nobel laureate, in her book about 99 women writers, "Leidenschaften".
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Ode to Herta Müller

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Romanian novelist Mircea Cartarescu celebrates Herta Müller's Nobel Prize, raising his glass to a writer with an inner sword and a literary style that is pure poetry.
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The call of the toad

Monday 2 March, 2009

TeaserPicGünter Grass has just published his diary from 1990, recording the tumultous events after the fall of the Berlin Wall. "From Germany to Germany" is a list of ominous predictions for the future of German unity. The former GDR writer Monika Maron looks at how blinded Grass was by his own preconceptions.
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"I am the eternal altar boy"

Monday 17 November, 2008

TeaserPicThis year's prestigious Büchner Prize went to Austrian writer Josef Winkler. He talks to Paul Jandl about dung heaps, patriarchs, the fear of speechlessness and the elegance of John Paul II's coffin. Photo © Jerry Bauer / SV
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