Erwin Strittmatter


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Strittmatter, Erwin

 

Born Aug. 14, 1912, in Spremberg. German writer of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Member of the Academy of Arts of the GDR (1959). Member of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. First secretary (1959–61) and vice-president of the Writers’ Union of the GDR.

Strittmatter, a soldier in the Wehrmacht, deserted toward the end of the war. Since 1945 he has lived in the countryside. The success of his first novel, The Oxherd (1950), encouraged him to become a professional writer. His play Katzgraben, which was performed by the Berliner Ensemble in 1953 and published in 1954, was highly praised by B. Brecht. The novel Ole Bienkopp (1963; Russian translation, 1965) portrayed the development of socialist consciousness in the postwar German countryside.

Strittmatter’s novel Miracle Worker (part 1, 1957; Russian translation, 1960; part 2, 1973) is written in the Bildungsroman genre. Against a panorama of German history, it depicts a man evolving from a naïve peasant youth into a socially aware Communist grown wise from experience. Strittmatter also wrote several collections of short stories and novellas. His work strongly reflects the traditions of classic German literature and folklore.

Strittmatter has been awarded the National Prize of the GDR (1953, 1955, 1964, 1976), the G. Lessing Prize (1961), and the T. Fontane Prize (1966).

WORKS

Tinko. Berlin, 1954.
Stücke. Berlin, 1967.
Pony Pedro, 11th ed. Berlin, 1970.
Schulzenhofer Kramkalender, 6th ed. Berlin-Weimar, 1973.
Ein Dienstag im September. Berlin, 1974.
Die blaue Nachtigall oder der Anfang von etwas, 3rd ed. Berlin-Weimar, 1974.
Meine Freundin Tina Babe. Berlin, 1977.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1971.

REFERENCES

Simonian, L. “Prodolzhenie sleduet.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1975, no. 1.
Knipovich, E. ”Chudodei snova v puti.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1976, no. 5.
Rindfleisch, R. “E. Strittmatter.” In Literatur der DDR, vol. 1. Berlin, 1974. (Contains bibliography.)

A. A. GUGNIN

References in periodicals archive ?
Unfortunately, the sizable collection "'Katzgraben'-Notate 1953," named after the comedy Katzgraben by the then-budding GDR writer Erwin Strittmatter and never brought out as a separate volume, does not contain any illustrative photographic materials at all; hence, in that respect, it surely proves to be far less yielding than the "Modellbucher.