Simon Dach (dahkh), a professor of poetry in Königsberg (Germany) and an important poet in his own right. He organizes the meeting of poets in 1647, originally to be held in Osnabrück but forced to be held in the small village of Telgte because Osnabrück is full of soldiers. Dach, a moderate but decisive man, has decided to gather German poets from all over Europe to hold a disputation and conference. In reality, this meeting never took place. The novel commemorates the founding of the postwar German literary group, Group 47. Dach represents the founder of Group 47, Hans Werner Richter.
Christoffel Gelnhausen (gehln-HOW-zehn), who is modeled after German satirist Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen, who wrote the famous picaresque novel Simplicissimus (1668). In the novel, Gelnhausen (taking his name from the town where Grimmelshausen was born) is an imperial officer who helps the gathered poets move to Telgte and who considers himself somewhat of a poet and thinker. He is portrayed as a bit of a buffoon and a windbag.
Heinrich Albert (HIN-rihkh), a composer and organist, friend of Simon Dach, and leading figure in the circle of poets in Königsberg. He arrives at Telgte with his friend, Heinrich Schütz, who is considered the best church composer of his time....
(The entire section is 550 words.)