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Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

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Hans Magnus Enzensberger (born 11 November 1929 in Kaufbeuren
Kaufbeuren
Kaufbeuren is an independent city in the Regierungsbezirk of Schwaben, southern Bavaria. The city is completely enclaved within the district of Ostallgäu.- Culture and Objects of Interest :* Townhall * Crescentiakloster...

), is a German author
Author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

, poet
Poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

, translator, and editor. He has also written under the pseudonym
Pseudonym
A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...

 Andreas Thalmayr. He lives in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

.

Life


According to a May 2010 article and interview, Enzensberger was born in 1929 in a small town in Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 and is the eldest of four boys. He is part of the last generation of intellectuals whose writing was shaped by first-hand experience of the Third Reich. The Enzensberger family moved to Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

, the ceremonial birthplace of National Socialism, in 1931. Julius Streicher
Julius Streicher
Julius Streicher was a prominent Nazi prior to World War II. He was the founder and publisher of Der Stürmer newspaper, which became a central element of the Nazi propaganda machine...

, the founder and publisher of Der Stürmer
Der Stürmer
Der Stürmer was a weekly tabloid-format Nazi newspaper published by Julius Streicher from 1923 to the end of World War II in 1945, with brief suspensions in publication due to legal difficulties. It was a significant part of the Nazi propaganda machinery and was vehemently anti-Semitic...

, was their next-door neighbour. Hans Magnus joined the Hitler Youth
Hitler Youth
The Hitler Youth was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. It existed from 1922 to 1945. The HJ was the second oldest paramilitary Nazi group, founded one year after its adult counterpart, the Sturmabteilung...

 in his teens, but was expelled soon afterwards. "I have always been incapable of being a good comrade. I can't stay in line. It's not in my character. It may be a defect, but I can't help it."

Enzensberger studied literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 and philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 at the universities of Erlangen
Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen-Nuremberg
The Universität Erlangen Nürnberg is a university in the cities of Erlangen and Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany. It is the second largest state university in Bavaria, having five Schools, 308 chairs, and 12,000 employees. There are 28,735 students enrolled at the university, of which about 2/3 are...

, Freiburg and Hamburg
University of Hamburg
The University of Hamburg is a university in Hamburg, Germany. It was founded on 28 March 1919 by Wilhelm Stern and others. It grew out of the previous Allgemeines Vorlesungswesen and the Kolonialinstitut as well as the Akademisches Gymnasium. There are around 38,000 students as of the start of...

, and at the Sorbonne
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

 in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, receiving his doctorate in 1955 for a thesis about Clemens Brentano
Clemens Brentano
Clemens Brentano, or Klemens Brentano was a German poet and novelist.-Overview:He was born in Ehrenbreitstein, near Koblenz, Germany. His sister was Bettina von Arnim, Goethe's correspondent. His father's family was of Italian descent. He studied in Halle and Jena, afterwards residing at...

's poetry. Until 1957 he worked as a radio editor in Stuttgart
Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

. He participated in several gatherings of Group 47
Group 47
Gruppe 47 was an influential literary association in Germany after World War II. '47' Stands for the year of their creation, 1947.-Early history:The beginnings reach back to1946 when Alfred Andersch and Walter Kolbenhoff founded the literary...

. Between 1965 and 1975 he edited the magazine "Kursbuch". Since 1985 he has been the editor of the prestigious book series Die Andere Bibliothek, published in Frankfurt, and now containing almost 250 titles. Enzensberger is the founder of the monthly TransAtlantik. His own work has been translated into more than 40 languages.

Enzensberger is the older brother of the author Christian Enzensberger
Christian Enzensberger
Christian Enzensberger was a German Professor of English studies, author and a translator of English literature into German language....

.

Work


Enzensberger has a sarcastic, ironic tone in many of his poems. For example, the poem "Middle Class Blues" consists of various typicalities of middle class life, with the phrase "we can't complain" repeated several times, and concludes with "what are we waiting for?". Many of his poems also feature themes of civil unrest over economic and class based issues. Though primarily a poet and essayist, he also makes excursions into theater, film, opera, radio drama, reportage, translation. He has written novels and several books for children (including The Number Devil
The Number Devil
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure is a book for children and young adults which explores mathematics. It was originally written in German by Hans Magnus Enzensberger and illustrated by Rotraut Susanne Berner. The book follows a young boy named Robert, who is taught mathematics by a sly...

, an exploration of mathematics) and is co-author of a book for German as a foreign language (Die Suche). He also invented and collaborated in the construction of a machine which automatically composes poems. It was used during the 2006 Football World Cup to commentate on games.

In 2009, Enzensberger received a special Lifetime Recognition Award given by the trustees of the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, which also awards the annual Griffin Poetry Prize
Griffin Poetry Prize
The Griffin Poetry Prize is Canada's most generous poetry award. It was founded in 2000 by businessman and philanthropist Scott Griffin. The awards go to one Canadian and one international poet who writes in the English language....

.

Honours received

  • 1963 Georg Büchner Prize
    Georg Büchner Prize
    The Georg Büchner Prize is the most important literary prize of Germany. It was created in 1923 in memory of Georg Büchner and was only given to artists who came from or were closely tied to Büchner's home of Hesse...

  • 1985 Heinrich-Böll-Preis; see also Heinrich Böll
    Heinrich Böll
    Heinrich Theodor Böll was one of Germany's foremost post-World War II writers. Böll was awarded the Georg Büchner Prize in 1967 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972.- Biography :...

  • 1993 Erich-Maria-Remarque-Friedenspreis; see also Erich Maria Remarque
    Erich Maria Remarque
    Erich Maria Remarque was a German author, best known for his novel All Quiet on the Western Front.-Life and work:...

  • 1998 Heinrich-Heine-Preis; see also Heinrich Heine
    Heinrich Heine
    Christian Johann Heinrich Heine was one of the most significant German poets of the 19th century. He was also a journalist, essayist, and literary critic. He is best known outside Germany for his early lyric poetry, which was set to music in the form of Lieder by composers such as Robert Schumann...

  • 2002 Prince of Asturias
    Prince of Asturias Awards
    The Prince of Asturias Awards are a series of annual prizes awarded in Spain by the Prince of Asturias Foundation to individuals, entities or organizations from around the world who make notable achievements in the sciences, humanities, and public affairs....

     Communications and Humanities award
  • 2009 Griffin Poetry Prize
    Griffin Poetry Prize
    The Griffin Poetry Prize is Canada's most generous poetry award. It was founded in 2000 by businessman and philanthropist Scott Griffin. The awards go to one Canadian and one international poet who writes in the English language....

     Lifetime Recognition Award
  • 2009 Sonningprisen - awarded for "commendable work for the benefit of European culture"

Published works

  • Verteidigung der Wölfe, Poems, 1957
  • Viele schöne Kinderreime, 777 poems for children, 1962
  • Einzelheiten, Essays, 1962
  • Politik und Verbrechen, Essays, 1964
  • Deutschland, Deutschland unter anderem, political commentary, 1967
  • Das Verhör von Habana, Prose, 1970
  • Constituents of a Theory of the Media, 1970
  • Der kurze Sommer der Anarchie. Buenaventura Durrutis Leben und Tod, Prose, 1972
  • Gespräche mit Marx und Engels, 1970
  • Palaver. Politische Überlegungen, Essays, 1974
  • Mausoleum. 37 Balladen aus der Geschichte des Fortschritts, Poems, 1975
  • Polit. Brosamen, Essays, 1982
  • Ach, Europa! Wahrnehmungen aus sieben Ländern, Prose, 1987
  • Mittelmass und Wahn, Essays, 1989
  • Zukunftsmusik, Poems, 1991
  • Die Tochter der Luft, Drama, 1992
  • Die Große Wanderung, Essays, 1992
  • Zickzack, Aufsätze, 1997
  • Der Zahlenteufel, Novel, 1997
  • Wo warst du, Robert?, Novel, 1998
  • Leichter als Luft: Moralische Gedichte, Poems, 1999
  • Schreckens Maenner: Versuch ueber den radikalen Verlierer (5th ed.), Essay, 2006
  • Einzelheiten I & II, Essays, 2006
  • Gedichte 1950-2005, Poems, 2006
  • Im Irrgarten der Intelligenz / Ein Idiotenführer, Essay, 2007
  • Hammerstein oder der Eigensinn, Biography, 2008

Articles

  • “Tour of the City”. Telos 29 (Fall 1976). New York: Telos Press.

External links