Ilse Aichinger Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Although most critics agree that the stories in The Bound Man, and Other Stories are Ilse Aichinger’s most important work, she is also the author of the novel Der grössere Hoffnung, 1948 (Herod’s Children, 1963); a number of radio plays; a volume of poetry, Verschenkter Rat (1978); several dialogues collected in Besuch im Pfarrhaus: Ein Hörspiel, Drei Dialoge (1961); Dialoge, Erzählungen, Gedichte (1971); and several critical essays.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Ilse Aichinger received the Austrian State Prize for the Encouragement of Literature in 1952, the Prize of Group Forty-Seven in 1952 for the short fiction Spiegelgeschichte (“Story in a Mirror”), the Literary Prize of the City of Bremen in 1955, the Immermann Prize of the City of Düsseldorf in 1955, the Bavarian Literature Prize in 1961, and the Nelly Sachs Prize of Dortmund in 1971.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Alldridge, J. C. Ilse Aichinger. London: Oswald Wolff, 1969. In his introduction to this collection of translations of Aichinger’s stories, dialogues, and poems, Alldridge provides a summary survey of Aichinger’s work. He argues that fairy tale and folklore condition her language and that elements of the collective unconscious are the source of many of her themes and much of her imagery.

Bedwell, Carol B. “Who Is the Bound Man? Towards an Interpretation of Ilse Aichinger’s ‘Der Gefesselte’.” German Quarterly 38 (1965): 30-37. A detailed interpretation of “The Bound Man” as an allegory of birth, life, and death. Argues that, although Aichinger shares with Kafka an undercurrent of allegory, she is more lyrical and more optimistic than he is.

Gerlach, U. Henry. “The Reception of the Works of Ilse Aichinger in the United States.” Modern Austrian Literature 20 (1987): 95-106. A survey of Aichinger’s works published in English and a summary of reviews and criticism. Concludes that Aichinger’s works have been well received in the United States; claims that although her most popular work is “The Bound Man,” “The Mirror Story” has great potential for success, particularly because of its appeal to women readers.

Nicolai, Ral R. “Ilse Aichinger’s Response to Kafka: ‘The Bound...

(The entire section is 520 words.)