Wolfgang Hildesheimer Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Wolfgang Hildesheimer wrote one novel and two prose monologues. His book Mozart (1977) is a well-researched essay on the composer. It was followed by Marbot: Eine Biographie (1981; Marbot: A Biography, 1983), the biography of a fictional artist. Hildesheimer also wrote numerous radio plays and stage dramas and was a literary translator and reviewer. In 1996, a posthumous collection of Hildesheimer’s collages, Schönheit als Therapie: Bilder gegen die Verzweiflung, was published.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Wolfgang Hildesheimer received the Blind Veterans’ Prize for Radio Plays in 1954, the City of Bremen Prize for Literature and the prestigious Georg Büchner Prize in 1966, and the Premio Verinna-Lorenzon for Mozart in 1977. He was awarded the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts Prize for Literature, an honorary doctorate from the University of Gießen in 1982, and the City of Weilheim Prize for Literature in 1991.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Hildesheimer, Wolfgang. “The End of Fiction.” In Wolfgang Hildesheimer: Gesammelte Werke, edited by Christiaan Nibbrig and Volker Jehle. Vol. 7. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1991. A lecture given at University College, Dublin, in 1975. The same detached, analytical outlook as in the early stories but without the humor. Hildesheimer questions the validity of culture in a time of impending ecological disaster. Ends with an imaginary dialogue between a novelist and a scientist, which foreshadows Hildesheimer’s decision to cease creative writing. States his belief that the writer should support a good cause.

Lea, Henry A. “Wolfgang Hildesheimer and the German-Jewish Experience: Reflections on Tynset and Masante.” Monatshefte 71 (Spring, 1979): 19-28. Places Hildesheimer in historical context and explains his distrust of all things German. Helps the reader recognize references used in the short stories as well. Identifies the basic tone as fear and compares Hildesheimer’s precise prose to Franz Kafka’s. This article is an English precursor of Lea’s excellent book on Hildesheimer that appeared in German in 1997.

Lea, Henry A. Wolfgang Hildesheimers Weg als Jude und Deutscher. Stuttgart: Hans-Dieter Heinz, 1997. Includes bibliographical references and an index.

Long, J. J. “Time and...

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