Koeppen

Wolfgang Koeppen (1906-1996)

More concise and elegant than Günter Grass, in the early 1950s Koeppen was the first West German novelist to produce a striking fictional assessment of the Federal Republic of Germany and its recent past. After producing his great post-war trilogy of novels, he stopped writing fiction entirely, although he later published works of travel writing and autobiography.

Novels:

Wolfgang Koeppen wrote five novels. His first two novels are:

Eine unglückliche Liebe; A Sad Affair (1934)

Die Mauer schwankt; The Tottering Wall (1935)

Then in the early 1950s Koeppen produced a trilogy of novels which made him famous, and which draw on modernist influences including Thomas Mann, James Joyce and Alfred Döblin:

Tauben im Gras; Pigeons on the Grass (1951)

Das Treibhaus; The Hothouse (1953)

Der Tod in Rom; Death in Rome (1954)

Travel Writing:

Nach Rußland und anderswohin; To Russia and Elsewhere (1958)

Amerikafahrt; Journey Through America (1959)

Reisen nach Frankreich; Journeys to France (1961)

Autobiography:

Jugend. Erzählung; Youth. A Story (1976)

Es war einmal in Masuren; Once Upon a Time in Masuria (1995)

Literary Criticism:

Die elenden Skribenten. Aufsätze; Those Miserable Writers. Essays (1984)

English Translations

Wolfgang Koeppen, A Sad Affair, trans. by Michael Hofmann (New York: Norton, 2003)

Wolfgang Koeppen, Pigeons on the Grass, trans. by David Ward (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1991)

Wolfgang Koeppen, The Hothouse, trans. by Michael Hofmann (New York: Norton, 2002)

Wolfgang Koeppen, Death in Rome, trans. by Michael Hofmann (New York: Norton, 2001)

Wolfgang Koeppen, Journey Through America, trans. by Michael Kimmage, Transatlantic Perspectives vol. 1 (New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2012)

Further Reading in English

David Basker, Chaos, Control and Consistency: The Narrative Vision of Wolfgang Koeppen (Bern: Peter Lang, 1993)

R. Hinton Thomas and Wilfried van der Will, The German Novel and the Affluent Society (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1968), Chapter 2 on Wolfgang Koeppen (pp. 20-39)

Klaus R. Scherpe, ‘Literary Détente: Wolfgang Koeppen’s Cold War Travels’, New German Critique 110 (2010), 95-106

Gary Schmidt, The Nazi Abduction of Ganymede: Representations of Male Homosexuality in Postwar German Literature (Oxford and Bern: Peter Lang, 2003), Part 2 on Wolfgang Koeppen

Simon Ward, ‘Border Negotiations in the Works of Wolfgang Koeppen’, Modern Language Review 95:3 (2000), 764-78

Simon Ward, Negotiating Postions: Literature, Identity and Social Critique in the Works of Wolfgang Koeppen (Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 2001)

Further Reading in German

Christl Brink-Friederici, Wolfgang Koeppen: Die Stadt als Pandämonium, 2dn edn (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2014)

Gunnar Müller-Waldeck, ‘Ein expressionistischer Dichter namens Wolfgang Koeppen’, Sinn und Form 67:3 (2015), 300-08

Web Links in English

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-wolfgang-koeppen-1344507.html

Koeppen’s obituary in The Independent, by Philip Brady

http://www.goethe.de/ins/au/lp/prj/bkm/rev/aut/koe/enindex.htm

Article on Koeppen by Andrew Riemer of the Sydney Morning Herald

Web Links in German

http://www.wolfgang-koeppen-stiftung.de/

Wolfgang Koeppen Foundation, founded in the year 2000

http://www.etk-muenchen.de/sixcms/detail.php?&id=69232&template=neu_reihe_default_literatur

Treibhaus. Yearbook for German-language literature of the 1950s

http://www.phil.uni-greifswald.de/philologien/deutsch/forschung-kooperation/wka.html

Wolfgang Koeppen Archive in Greifswald

http://www.salmoxisbote.de/Bote07/Koeppen.htm

An interview with Wolfgang Koeppen (1991)