Gert Jonke

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Gert Jonke in 2008

Gert Jonke (8 February 1946 – 4 January 2009) was an Austrian poet, playwright and novelist.


Jonke was born and educated in Klagenfurt, Austria. He attended the Gymnasium (university preparatory school) and the Conservatory. After he served his mandatory military service, he continued his studies at the College of Music and Representative Art in Vienna in the Film and Television Department. He did not, however, complete his studies there, nor his studies of History, Philosophy, Music Theory, or German Studies at the University of Vienna which followed. Despite this, in 1971 he received a scholarship to study in West Berlin, where he stayed for five years. He then lived for a year in London, followed by extensive travels through the Middle East and South America, after which he settled again in Austria.

Jonke died of cancer at the age of 62 on 4 January 2009 in Vienna. He was given a grave of honor ("Ehrengrab") in the Zentralfriedhof, the central cemetery in Vienna.[1]


Novels (translated into English)[edit]


  • At that time, Graz, Forum Stadtpark Graz 1989
  • The Perfidy of the Wind Machines
  • Gentle Rage or the Ear Engineer, Theater Sonata, Styriate Graz 1990
  • Opus 111, Volkstheater Vienna 1993
  • The Presence of Memory, Volkstheater Vienna 1995
  • There sing the Stones, Stadttheater Klagenfurt 1998
  • Insektarium, Volkstheater Vienna 1999
  • The Birds, UA Volkstheater Wien 2002
  • Choir Phantasy, Schauspielhaus Graz, 2003
  • Speaker around the Clock, Semper-Depot Vienna, 2004
  • Strange Case, Ruhrtriennale, 2005
  • The Sunken Cathedral, Burgtheater Vienna 2005
  • Gentle Rage or The Ear Engineer, First Performance in Sign Language with the deaf actor Werner Mössler by ARBOS - Company for Music and Theatre Vienna 2006 [2]
  • Free Fall, UA Akademietheater Vienna 2008 [3]
  • Bursting Suddenly, aktionstheater ensemble at the Festspielhaus Bregenz and Semper Depot Vienna 2008


  1. ^
  2. ^ Werner Mössler performs on YouTube the character of the deaf Beethoven in the Theatre Sonata of Gert Jonke in Austrian Sign Language
  3. ^ 24.5.2008 Review of the perfoamnce