Heinrich Böll

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Böll, Heinrich


Born Dec. 21,1917, in Cologne. German writer (Federal Republic of Germany).

The son of a wood-carver, Boll worked as a carpenter and in a bookstore. From 1939 to 1945 he was a soldier in Hitler’s army. After returning from an American prison camp he studied philology at the University of Cologne, and he now lives in Cologne. Boll’s work began to appear in print in 1947. His first important works were the novella The Train Was on Time (1949), the collection of short stories Traveller, If You Come to Spa . . . (1950), and the novel Adam, Where Art Thou? (1951; Russian translation, 1962). In Boll’s novels Acquainted With the Night (1953; Russian translation, 1958), The Unguarded House (1954; Russian translation, 1959), Billiards at Half Past Nine (1959; Russian translation, 1961), and The Clown (1963; Russian translation, 1964; dramatized at the Mossovet Theater in 1968) and in his novellas The Bread of Our Early Years (1955; Russian translation, 1958), Absent Without Leave (1964; Russian translation, 1965), and End of a Mission (1966; Russian translation, 1966), he expresses a disgust toward fascism, German militarism, bourgeois money-grubbing, false petit bourgeois morality, and religious hypocrisy. In his books Boll raises sharp moral questions which grow out of a critical comprehension of contemporary society. Within the traditions of the realistic classics of the world (especially those of F. M. Dostoevsky, to whom Boll devoted a television script entitled Dostoevsky and St. Petersburg [1967–68]), Boll masterfully conveys the inner life of his heroes and the contradictory movement of their thoughts and feelings.

In his journalistic work Boll asserts the need for social and moral activity in art and the civic responsibility of the artist, pointing out that the decisive criterion in all types of literary creative work must be the “conscience of the writer as a social person.” Böll’s books have been translated into Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian, Latvian, and Estonian. He has visited the USSR several times.


Erzählungen: Hörspiele Aufsätze. Cologne-Berlin, 1961.
Frankfurter Verlesungen. Cologne-Berlin, 1966.
Aufsätze, Kritiken, Reden. Berlin-Cologne, 1967.


Rozhnovskii, S. G. Bëll’. Moscow, 1965.
Motyleva, T. Zarubezhnyi roman segodnia. Moscow, 1966.
Orlova, R., and L. Kopelev. “Pisatel’ i sovest’.” Novyi mir, 1967, no. 12.
Rodnianskaia, I. “MirGenrikha Bëllia.” Voprosy literatury, 1966, no. 10.
Der Schriftsteller H. Boll: Ein biographisch-bibliographischer Abriss, 4th ed. Cologne-Berlin, [1965].
In Sachen Boll. Cologne-Berlin, 1968.


References in periodicals archive ?
Inter alia, Vogt discusses texts by Anna Seghers, Berthold Brecht, Heinrich Boll, Gunther Eich, Hans Werner Richter, Bernhard Vesper, Uwe Timm, Peter Weiss, and Christa Wolf, but he also seeks to throw light on the political, social, and literary context of this period more generally.
In her concluding remarks, Britta Peterson, Country Director, Heinrich Boll Stiftung thanked the participants.
The WPC also met the representatives of German organisation Heinrich Boll Stiftung and discussed the future cooperation between the Women Caucus and the Heinrich Boll Stiftung regarding women empowerment projects.
Heinrich Boll and American writers such as Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Robinson Jeffers).
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In the rare cases when people from New Left circles, such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Heinrich Boll or Gunter Wallraff, turned their attention to guest workers, they portrayed them as nameless ciphers and symbols of capitalist exploitation.
Three establishments - namely The Century Foundation, Heinrich Boll Stiftung of North America and Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, teamed together to organise the single-day event titled Iran in the Middle East, expanding influence, accelerating arms race: myth or reality?
Hailed by the New Yorker magazine as one of the best young novelists in the world and recipient of the most prestigious literary awards in Germany, such as the Uwe Johnson and Heinrich Boll awards, Beyer thematizes German history and its role in contemporary society in his literary works, which are characterized by their intricate, indeed complex narratives.
Jorn Bohme Director, Israel Office, Heinrich Boll Foundation
Organized by the Association of Arab Sociology Center for Arab Unity Studies and the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at AUB, in cooperation with the Heinrich Boll Foundation, the workshop aims to analyze the different modes of governance in the Arab World as well as resistance to these modes.
With support from CIDA/GESP and the Heinrich Boll Foundation, MEGEN also organized community dialogue forums with the main objective being to promote reconciliation and peaceful coexistence within and amongst warring communities.
By bringing together works by Alfred Andersch, Heinrich Boll, Hans Hellmut Kirst, Heinz G.