German literature

German authors
  • Angelus Silesius
  • Heinrich Böll
  • Bertolt Brecht
  • Karl Georg Büchner
  • Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Günter Grass
  • Brothers Grimm
  • Hans von Grimmelshausen
  • Peter Handke
  • Gerhart Hauptmann
  • Heinrich Heine
  • Heinrich der Glïchezäre
  • Johann Gottfried von Herder
  • Hermann Hesse
  • Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann
  • Friedrich Hölderlin
  • Uwe Johnson
  • Siegfried Lenz
  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
  • Thomas Mann
  • Robert Musil
  • Novalis
  • Jean Paul Richter
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling
  • Friedrich von Schiller
  • Arthur Schnitzler
  • Georg Trakl
  • Frank Wedekind
  • Christa Wolf

Heinrich Böll, 1917-1985

This important novelist, winner of a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1972, was born in Cologne. As soon as he finished his secondary education, he was recruited as a soldier and served during the entire Second World War. In 1947 he was set free form a North American prisoner of war camp where he had lived since the end of the war. He sold various stories, which allowed him to survive while writing novels, plays, stories and essays, which portrayed the horrors and grotesque aspects of the war,the guilt and the emptiness of materialism.

Many of his early writings were compiled in The Train Was on Time (1949), which was followed up by novels such as Adam, Where Art Thou? (1951), And Never Said a Word (1953), The Unguarded House (1954) and Billiards at Half-Past Nine (1959); as well as the travel diary Irish Journal (1957) and the novels on political satire End of a Mission (1966) and The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (1974), a critical look at the connivance between journalistic firms and the judicial and political powers, just when terrorist activities in Germany were at their height, with the the failed attempts at  freeing the leaders of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist group.

Undoubtedly, his masterpiece  is the ambitious portrait of German life between World War I and the 70's, Group Portrait with a Lady (1971).