Durs Grünbein

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2010 at Frankfurt am Main

Durs Grünbein (born 9 October 1962, in Dresden) is a German poet and essayist.

Life and career[edit]

Durs Grünbein was born in Dresden. He studied theater in Berlin, where he had been living as a freelance writer since 1985.

Since1989, he has traveled widely in Europe, South-West Asia and North America, and sojourned in various places, including Amsterdam, Paris, London, Vienna, Toronto, Los Angeles, New York, and St. Louis. He lives in Berlin and, since 2013, in Rom.

His production comprises numerous collections of poetry and prose – essays, short narrative-reflexive prose, aphorisms, fragments, diary annotations and philosophical meditations –, as well as three librettos for opera. He has translated classic texts from Aeschylus and Seneca, and a variety of authors, including John Ashbery, Samuel Beckett, Wallace Stevens, Henri Michaux, and Tomas Venclova.[1]

His works have been translated into many languages, including Russian, Italian, English, French Spanish, Swedish and Japanese. His book Ashes for breakfast: Selected poems, translated by Michael Hoffmann, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize 2006.

Grünbein was awarded numerous national and international awards, including the Georg Büchner Prize (Germany’s most prestigious literary recognition, which he received in 1995, aged thirty-three), the Friedrich Nietzsche Prize, the Friedrich Hölderlin Prize, the Berlin Literature Prize, the Premio Internazionale di Poesia Pier Paolo Pasolini and the Tranströmer Prize.

Grünbein holds the Chair of Poetik und künstlerische Ästhetik (Poetics and Artistic Aesthetics) at the Kunstakademie of Düsseldorf.[2] In 2009, he was awarded the Order Pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts as well as the Great Cross of Merit with Star by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is a member of various Academies of Arts and Sciences, including the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung, the Akademie der Künste of Berlin, and the Sächsische Akademie Dresden.[3]

In 1997, he was a Fellow at the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles.[4] In 2005, he held the position of Max Kade Distinguished Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, USA. Since 2006, Grünbein is a visiting professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. In 2009, he was a poet in residence at the Villa Massimo in Rome.[5]

He has been a regular contributor to Frau und Hund - Zeitschrift für kursives Denken, edited by the academy's rector, the painter Markus Lüpertz.

Grünbein’s third opera, Die Weiden, had its premiere on 8 December 2018 at Wiener Staatsoper, which commissioned the opera from Austrian composer Johannes Maria Staud and Grünbein.[6] Following Berenice in 2004 for the Munich Biennale and Die Antilope in 2014 for Lucerne Festival, Die Weiden is the third opera Grünbein has written in collaboration with Staud. Staud and Grünbein were booed at the premiere. [7]

Critical reception[edit]

Since the publication of his first collection of poems in 1988, Durs Grünbein has emerged as "Germany’s most prolific, versatile, successful and internationally renowned contemporary poet and essayist",[8] a "poet of world significance"[9] and one of "the key figures shaping the contemporary scene",[10] alongside, for instance, Ulrike Draesner, Raul Schrott, and Marcel Beyer.[11]

Conceiving poetry as a means of memorial, historical, and aesthetic exploration, Grünbein arguably „draws not only on his biography, but on a deep sense of history and far-ranging erudition to produce sardonic poems and essays, bristling with unusual perceptions and inventive expressions".[12]

Whereas the intersection of literature and science, aesthetics and evolution, as well as the poetic elaboration of the existential experience in the GDR were the main focus of the critically acclaimed first collections of poetry, Grauzone morgens (1988),  Schädelbasislektion (1991), Falten und Fallen (1994), since the middle 1990s, and especially since the collection Nach den Satiren (1999), classical antiquity figures prominently in Grünbein’s poems and essays.

"As in his poetry, in his essays, too", observes Michael Eskin, "Grünbein succeeds in artfully interweaving autobiography and memoir with a host of broader concerns ranging from questions of history, science, and medicine, to question of ethics, aesthetics, and politics, with special attention to the continued relevance of the past – Greek and roman antiquity in particular – in and to the contemporary world, as well as the inevitable interpretive malleability of the past in the light of our ever-evolving present".[13]

The poet’s dialogue with the ancient legacy is more complex even than his own reflection suggests and most scholars assume. Besides interviewing past and present, some poems also engage with the gap between the past and its poetic figuration.[14]

Grünbein’s works on Descartes’ philosophy and its significance for the poetic subjectivity have been praised by prominent critics and thinkers for their depth and remarkable style, "one capable of conducting powerful and original thought with no loss of lyric intensity", notices Don Paterson.[15]

George Steiner’s opus magnum The Poetry of Thought (2011) is dedicated to "Durs Grünbein, poet and Cartesian".[16]

Honors[edit]

  • 1992: Bremer Literaturförderpreis
  • 1992: Marburger Literaturpreis
  • 1993: Nicolas-Born-Preis für Lyrik
  • 1995: Peter-Huchel-Preis[17]
  • 1995: Georg-Büchner-Preis[18]
  • 2001: Spycher: Literaturpreis Leuk
  • 2004: Friedrich-Nietzsche-Preis des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt
  • 2005: Friedrich-Hölderlin-Preis der Stadt Bad Homburg
  • 2006: Berliner Literaturpreis
  • 2006: Pier Paolo Pasolini-Preis
  • 2008: Pour le mérite für Wissenschaft und Künste
  • 2009/2010: Frankfurter Poetik-Dozentur
  • 2009: Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
  • 2009: Samuel-Bogumil-Linde-Preis
  • 2009: Stipendium der Deutschen Akademie Rom Villa Massimo
  • 2012: Tomas-Tranströmer-Preis der schwedischen Stadt Västerås

Work[edit]

Poetry[edit]

  • Grauzone morgens (1988), ISBN 3-518-13330-6
  • Schädelbasislektion (1991), ISBN 3-518-40375-3
  • Falten und Fallen (1994), ISBN 3-518-40570-5
  • Den teuren Toten (1994), ISBN 3-518-40629-9
  • Nach den Satiren (1999), ISBN 3-518-41028-8
  • Erklärte Nacht (2002), ISBN 3-518-41305-8
  • Vom Schnee oder Descartes in Deutschland (2003), ISBN 3-518-41455-0
  • An Seneca. Postskriptum. Die Kürze des Lebens (2004)
  • Der Misanthrop auf Capri (2005), ISBN 3-518-22394-1
  • Porzellan. Poem vom Untergang meiner Stadt (2005), ISBN 3-518-41722-3
  • Strophen für Übermorgen (2007), ISBN 3-518-41908-0
  • Liebesgedichte (2008)
  • Lob des Taifuns. Reisetagebücher in Haikus (2008)
  • Der cartesische Taucher. Drei Meditationen. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2008, ISBN 978-3-518-26007-4.
  • Libellen in Liberia. Gedichte und Berichte (2010)
  • Aroma (2010), ISBN 9783518421673
  • Koloss im Nebel (2012 ), ISBN 9783518423165
  • Cyrano oder Die Rückkehr vom Mond. Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-518-42415-5
  • Die Jahre im Zoo. Ein Kaleidoskop. Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-518-42491-9
  • Zündkerzen. Gedichte. Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-518-42753-8
  • Oper. Libretti. Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin 2018

Prose[edit]

  • Galilei vermisst Dantes Hölle und bleibt an den Maßen hängen. Aufsätze 1989-1995 (1996), ISBN 3-518-40758-9
  • Das erste Jahr. Berliner Aufzeichnungen (2001), ISBN 3-518-41277-9
  • Warum schriftlos leben. Aufsätze (2003), ISBN 3-518-12435-8
  • Antike Dispositionen (2005)
  • Die Bars von Atlantis. Eine Erkundigung in vierzehn Tauchgängen (2009), ISBN 3-518-12598-2

Books in English translation[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Michael Eskin: Poetic Affairs: Celan, Grünbein, Brodsky. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008.
  • Michael Eskin/Karen Leeder/Christopher Young (eds.): Durs Grünbein. A Companion. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter 2013. ISBN 978-3-11-022794-9
  • Kai Bremer/ Fabian Lampart, Jörg Wesche, (eds.): Schreiben am Schnittpunkt. Poesie und Wissen bei Durs Grünbein. Freiburg: Rombach 2007
  • Sonja Klein: "Denn alles, alles ist verlorne Zeit". Fragment und Erinnerung im Werk von Durs Grünbein. Bielefeld: Aiesthesis 2008
  • Hinrich Ahrend: "Tanz zwischen sämtlichen Stühlen". Poetik und Dichtung im lyrischen und essayistischen Werk Durs Grünbeins. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann 2010

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hermann Korte, "Grünbein, Durs" in Munzinger Online/KLG - Kritisches Lexikon zur deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur". Retrieved 8.12.2017. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ "Kunstakademie Düsseldorf".
  3. ^ Michael, Eskin (2010). About the Author, In Durs Grünbein, Descartes' Devil. Three Meditations, Translated by Anthea Bell, Edited by Michael Eskin. New York: Upper West Side Philosophers. p. 187.
  4. ^ "Villa Aurora".
  5. ^ Durs Grünbein Profile Villa Massimo in Rome. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  6. ^ "Wiener Staatsoper".
  7. ^ https://diepresse.com/home/kultur/klassik/5543760/Staatsoper_Die-Weiden_Ein-paar-Buhs-und-milder-Jubel. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ ESKIN, M., Preface, in ESKIN, M., LEEDER, K., YOUNG, C. (Eds.), Durs Grünbein. A Companion, De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston, 2013, XIII-XIV, XIII
  9. ^ YOUNG, C., Durs Grünbein and the "Wende", in ESKIN, M., LEEDER, K., YOUNG, C. (Eds.), Durs Grünbein. A Companion, De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston, 2013, 1-22, 1
  10. ^ LEEDER, K., Introduction: The Address of German Poetry, in «German Life and Letters» 60:3, July, 2007, 278-293, 283
  11. ^ https://www.zeit.de/2014/15/durs-gruenbein-cyrano-rueckkehr-vom-mond/komplettansicht
  12. ^ The Wall Street Journal. https://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2010/01/15/a-german-poet-makes-a-new-english-language-push/
  13. ^ ESKIN, M., The Driving Bell and the Bristlemouth. The Art of Grünbein's Prose, in GRüNBEIN, D. (Ed.), The Bars of Atlantis. Selected Essays, With an Introduction by Michael Eskin. Edited by Michael Eskin, translated from the German by John Crutchfield, Michael Hoffmann, and Andrew Shields, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2010, VII-XVIII, XII
  14. ^ GRETHLEIN, J.,“„SANDALENFILME AUS DEN GRÜNBEIN-STUDIOS‘? Zum Verhältnis Von Antike Und Moderne in Den Gedichten Von Durs Grünbein.” Poetica, vol. 43, no. 3/4, 2011, 411–439
  15. ^ "Critical reception".
  16. ^ STEINER, G., The Poetry of Thought. From Hellenism to Celan, New Directions, New York, 2011
  17. ^ Peter Huchel Preis. Introduction and Recipients. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  18. ^ Büchner Preis List of Recipients. Retrieved May 15, 2010.

External links[edit]