Johannes Bobrowski


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Bobrowski, Johannes

 

Born Apr. 9, 1917, in Tilsit; died Sept. 2,1965, in Berlin. German writer (German Democratic Republic). Son of a railroad worker.

A participant in World War II, Bobrowski was a prisoner in the USSR from 1945 to 1949. His first collections of poetry were published in 1961–62, followed by collections of short stories and the novel Levin’s Mill (1964). Published posthumously were the novel Lithuanian Keyboards (1966) and the collection of short stories The Forewarning (1967). The relations between the Germans and their eastern neighbors, the Slavs and Lithuanians, is the main concern in Bobrowski’s creative work, and he resolves it on a humanistic level. His poetry and prose are characterized by subtle lyricism and abundant historical digressions and comparisons.

WORKS

Mäusefest und andere Erzählungen. Berlin, 1965.
Boehlendorff und andere Erzählungen. Stuttgart, 1965.
Sarmatische Zeit: Gedichte, 2nd ed. Berlin, 1966.
Schattenland Ströme: Gedichte, 2nd ed. Berlin, 1966.
In Russian translation:
“Poiushchee slovo: Stikhotvoreniia.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1968, no. 5.
“Litovskie klaviry.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1969, no. 4.
“Stikhi raznykh let.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1970, no. 8.

REFERENCES

Ratgauz.G. “Vremia nadezhdy.” Voprosy literatury, 1966, no. 11.
Girnus, V. “Krasnye rozy Iogannesu Bobrovskomu.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1969, no. 2.
Wolf.G. J. Bobrowski. Berlin, 1967.

A. V. KAREL’SKII

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Johannes Bobrowski (1917-1965) is a significant German modernist poet and novelist whose work directly engages the problematic question of German "Schuld" (guilt) in respect of the Holocaust.
Johannes Bobrowski (1917-1965) is 'n belangrike modernistiese Duitse digter en romanskrywer wie se werk direk handel oor die problematiek van Duitse "Schuld" (skuld) oor die Jodevervolging.
In the winter of 1964, in the cold month of January, the East German poet Johannes Bobrowski (1917-1965) wrote a short prose piece and a poem on the subject of the Holocaust.
David Bathrick's discussion of songwriter and poet Wolf Biermann rightly focuses on issues of censorship and East German party politics (Biermann's poetry is not formally interesting), but the lack of any sustained discussion of Else Lasker-Schuler, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Bertolt Brecht, Ingeborg Bachmann, Johannes Bobrowski, Gunter Eich, or Ernst Jandl as poets makes it impossible to follow the internal, formal development of a genre that was vitally important to German readers throughout much of the century.
Johannes Bobrowski also spoke to me most amiably, for hours on end; and I visited Peter Huchel in his Potsdam exile.
After his memoir of his friend, poet Johannes Bobrowski (1989), and his tender portrait of a farmer in southern France, entitled Ein Unbekannter Mensch (1997), his recent book is a throwback, both sensitive and aggressive, to his earlier, representative act of familial Vergangenheitsbewaltigung (coming to terms with the past).
Berliner Literaturpreis (1996), the Johannes Bobrowski Medal (1996), and
WINNER OF MANY literary awards (among them the Alfred Doblin Prize), Reinhard Jirgl received the Berlin Literature Prize and the Johannes Bobrowski Medal for the manuscript of Die atlantische Mauer.
His honors include the Berliner Literaturpreis (1996), the Johannes Bobrowski Medal (1996), and the Uwe Johnson-Preis (1997); John Brownjohn's English translation of Flughunde (published as The Karnau Tapes by Harcourt) received the Kurt and Helen Wolff Prize for literary translation in 1998.
The title line, which sounds like a threat, a hopeful dismissal, is taken from the poem "Anruf" (Call) by Johannes Bobrowski, a poem from his heritage, fallen from an easterly landscape, inscribed in the memory of the poet.
15 Johannes Bobrowski, "Anruf" (1957), in Die Gedichte, vol.
Gunter Eich, Johannes Bobrowski, Erich Fried, and Ernst Jandl also figure prominently.