Wolfgang Borchert

THE COMPLETE WORKS

“Not a word too many, not a word too few” (Heinrich Böll on Borchert)

With only a slim volume of works – two dozen short stories, a handful of poems and the play The Man Outside – Wolfgang Borchert became the most important voice of German post war literature. “At night, a writer may look at the stars. But woe betide him if he does not feel that his house is in danger.” His unusual mix of romantic passion and the rebellion of betrayed youth has fascinated generations of young people and still resonates today: it’s no coincidence that the Academy Award winning film "The Lives of Others" contains a Borchert song.

This time, the Complete Works are published including stories edited by Peter Rühmkorf and significant unpublished material. All texts have been compared to the original manuscripts and first editions, with any cuts being re-instated. An extended, revised edition in time for the 60th anniversary of Borchert’s death.

Wolfgang Borchert

Wolfgang Borchert

Wolfgang Borchert (born in 1921 in Hamburg, died in 1947 in Basel) first worked as a bookseller and actor before being posted to the Eastern Front as a soldier in 1941. He was twice arrested and imprisoned for subversion. When he returned to Hamburg in 1945, he was already seriously ill. His melancholic poems and short stories articulate the bitterness and grief of ‘a betrayed generation’ like no other writer’s. His biggest success came with the drama Draußen vor der Tür (1947). Wolfgang Borchert is considered the precursor of the post-war German literature.

 

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