Rolf Hochhuth was born in 1931 in Eschwege, and was working as a publishing editor when, on a trip to Rome, he started conceptual work on his first play, Der Stellvertreter (The Deputy). Staged for the first time in 1963 by Erwin Piscator in Berlin, the piece gained attention worldwide. Over the years, Hochhuth has produced a large body of plays, essays and poetry, for which he has received many awards. In May 2020 he died in Berlin.
SO BE IT! HOCHHUTH’S INSIGHTS ON LIFE
With his pugnaciously political style, dramatist Rolf Hochhuth became a living institution of german theatre. But he has also made a name for himself as a poet and writer of short prose pieces. These 365 writings, each between seven and twelve lines long, are what the author himself describes as “distilled realisations about life, rather than poetry”, and create a fascinating new form somewhere between the poem and the aphorism.
These texts mirror a whole human century, at times using elaborate rhyming techniques, at others displaying an adventurous interplay of diction and ideas. For Hochhuth, love and art are intertwined, an idea augmented by his interest in philosophy, religion, history and politics. the pervasive mood is one of continual horror both at history’s catastrophes and today’s political mistakes, mixed with anger and sympathy at the same time.