Horst Bienek

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Plaque on the house in which Horst Bienek was born (in Polish)
Plaque on the house in which Horst Bienek was born (in German)

Horst Bienek (May 7, 1930, Gleiwitz – December 7, 1990, Munich) was a German novelist and poet.

Life[edit]

Born in Gleiwitz, Uppper Silesia, Germany (today Gliwice, Poland), Bienek was forced to leave there in 1945, when Germans were expelled from Silesia. He resettled in the eastern part of Germany. For a time, he was a student of Bertolt Brecht. In 1951, he was arrested by NKVD and sentenced in a show trial to 25 years of labour for "anti-Soviet incitement" and alleged espionage on behalf of the United States, and sent to a Gulag concentration camp in Vorkuta. When he was released as the result of an amnesty in 1955, he settled in West Germany. Much of his writing addressed the theme of his uprooting from his Upper Silesian homeland [1]

Although homosexual, his autobiographical writings never discussed openly his own homosexuality, and his novels only on occasion allude gently to homosexual attraction.[2]

Bienek died in Munich in 1990 from AIDS.[3]

Work[edit]

Bienek was the winner of numerous prizes, including the Nelly Sachs Prize in 1981. His best-known work is the four-volume series of novels dealing with the prelude to World War II and the war itself, Gleiwitz, Eine oberschlesische Chronik in vier Romanen.

Three of his works were adapted for film:

Bienek's four novel have all been translated into English:

The First Polka (1978) [4]

September Light (1986)[5]

The Cell (1973)[6]

Time Without Bells (1988)[7]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Wolfgang Bittner: "Der Entwurzelte. Horst Bieneks oberschlesisches Schicksal." In: Silesia Nova. Vol. 9, No. 4, 2012, pp. 109–114.
  2. ^ Raimund Wolfert (2013). "Reinhard Laube / Verena Nolte (Hg.): Horst Bienek – Ein Schriftsteller in den Extremen des 20. Jahrhunderts (Article Review) In: Invertito 15". Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  3. ^ Raimund Wolfert (2013). "Reinhard Laube / Verena Nolte (Hg.): Horst Bienek – Ein Schriftsteller in den Extremen des 20. Jahrhunderts (Article Review) In: Invertito 15". Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  4. ^ Horst Bienek: The First Polka: A Novel. (Hardcover) 1978, Victor Gollancz, Ralph R. Read (Translator), ISBN 9780575023925 Later edition: 1984, Fjord Pr. ISBN 9780940242074
  5. ^ Horst Bienek: September Light.(Hardcover) 1986, Athenaeum Books, Ralph Read (Translator). ISBN 9780689118487
  6. ^ Horst Bienek: The Cell. Various editions, including; 1973, Unicorn Press (Paperback), Mahlendorf (Translator)
  7. ^ Horst Bienek: Time Without Bells.(Hardcover), 1988, Athenaeum Books, Ralph Read (Translator). ISBN 9780689119309