Wolfdietrich Schnurre

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Wolfdietrich Schnurre
File:Schnurre wolfdietrich ROIsmall.tif
Born (1920-08-22)August 22, 1920
Frankfurt am Main
Died June 9, 1989(1989-06-09) (aged 68)
Kiel
Resting place Waldfriedhof Zehlendorf, Berlin
Occupation Author
Nationality German
Genre Rubble literature, magical realism

Wolfdietrich Schnurre (22 August 1920 – 9 June 1989) was a German writer. Schnurre was an important literary figure of post-war West Germany. Apart from numerous short stories, he also wrote novels, tales, diaries, poems, radio plays and (beginning in the 1960s) children's books which he partly illustrated himself.

Life and work

Schnurre was born in Frankfurt am Main on 22 August 1920 to Otto and Erna Schnurre (née Zindel). He was raised by his father after his mother left the family during Schnurre's early childhood and remarried.[1] A student at the time of Schnurre's birth, Otto Schnurre earned his income as a factory worker and graduated with a PhD in ornithology in 1921.[2] The two lived in the Oberrad and Eschersheim districts of Frankfurt from 1920 to 1928. Schnurre frequently fell ill during childhood and was repeatedly placed in the care of Christian children's homes; traumatic experiences there contributed to his scepticism of religion in later life.[3]

In 1934, Schnurre and his father moved to Berlin-Weißensee, where Otto Schnurre had found a job as deputy head librarian of the Berlin City Library. Schnurre attended a secular state school in Berlin until 1934, when he switched to a Humanistisches Gymnasium.[4] Schnurre, who was relatively independent from an early age due to his father being preoccupied with work and affairs with women, grew up in a lower and lower middle class social environment. He later characterised his experiences at school as largely shielded from National Socialist ideological influences, stating that his teachers were largely socialists, communists and proponents of the Weimar Democracy.[5] Schnurre served in the Wehrmacht from 1939 until 1945. The exact circumstances of his entry into service are unknown; according to his own version of events, which he recounted in a 1989 interview, he was conscripted into the Reich Labour Service in 1939 and volunteered for the Wehrmacht because he anticipated imminent conscription and was able to choose his branch of service this way.[6]

In April 1945 he fled to Westphalia and returned to Berlin after the end of war. In the beginning he lived in the Eastern part of the city, but in 1946 he moved to West Berlin. In the following years he worked as theatre and movie reviewer for Deutsche Rundschau and other Berlin newspapers.

From 1950 Schnurre was an independent writer. He was a founding member of the literary association Gruppe 47 and his short story Das Begräbnis (The Funeral) was the first piece of literature read at the group's initial meeting. He was also member of the Federal Republic of Germany's PEN, which he left in 1961 to protest against PEN's silence after the construction of the Berlin Wall. Since 1959 Schnurre was member of the German Academy for Language and Literature in Darmstadt. In 1964 he came down with severe polyneuritis.

Schnurre died of heart failure in Kiel on 9 June 1989 and was buried in the Waldfriedhof Zehlendorf cemetery in Berlin.[7] He left behind detailed instructions for his funeral, requesting that there be no speech, sermon or music. Instead, he asked for "someone with a good voice" to read the "most beautiful story in the world", Unverhofftes Wiedersehen by Johann Peter Hebel, and that the guests engage in small talk "at the grave, or at least at the cemetery".[8]

Awards

Schurre received several awards for his works including the Prize Young Generation of the Fontane Award of the City of Berlin (1958), the Immermann-Preis (1959), the Georg Marckensen Literature Award (1962), the Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz, 1981), the Literature Award of the City of Cologne (1982), the Georg Büchner Prize (1983) and the Culture Award of the City of Kiel (1989).

Literary works

  • Das Begräbnis, 1947
  • An die Harfner, 1948
  • Rettung des deutschen Films, 1950
  • Die Rohrdommel ruft jeden Tag, 1950
  • Sternstaub und Sänfte, 1953
  • Die Blumen des Herrn Albin, 1955
  • Kassiber, 1956
  • Abendländler, 1957
  • Protest im Parterre, 1957
  • Als Vaters Bart noch rot war, 1958
  • Barfußgeschöpfe, 1958
  • Eine Rechnung, die nicht aufgeht, 1958
  • Anaximanders Ende, 1958
  • Der Verrat, 1958
  • Steppenkopp, 1958
  • Jenö war mein Freund, 1958
  • Das Los unserer Stadt, 1959
  • Man sollte dagegen sein, 1960
  • Berlin – eine Stadt wird geteilt, 1962
  • Die Mauer des 13. August, 1962
  • Funke im Reisig, 1963
  • Die Gläsernen, 1963
  • Ohne Einsatz kein Spiel, 1964
  • Schreibtisch unter freiem Himmel, 1964
  • Die Tat, 1964
  • Kalünz ist keine Insel, 1965
  • Die Erzählungen, 1966
  • Das Schwein, das zurückkam, 1967
  • Spreezimmer möbliert, 1967
  • Was ich für mein Leben gern tue, 1967
  • Die Zwengel, 1967
  • Rapport des Verschonten, 1968
  • Ein Schneemann für den großen Bruder, 1969 (with Marina Schnurre)
  • Gocko, 1970 (with Marina Schnurre)
  • Richard kehrt zurück, 1970
  • Die Sache mit den Meerschweinchen, 1970 (with Marina Schnurre)
  • Schnurre heiter, 1970
  • Die Wandlung des Hippipotamos, 1970
  • Immer mehr Meerschweinchen, 1971 (with Marina Schnurre)
  • Der Spatz in der Hand, 1971
  • Wie der Koala-Bär wieder lachen lernte, 1971 (with Marina Schnurre)
  • Der Meerschweinchendieb, 1972
  • Ich frag ja bloß, 1973
  • Schnurren und Murren, 1974
  • Der wahre Noah, 1974
  • Eine schwierige Reparatur, 1976
  • Ich brauch dich, 1976
  • Klopfzeichen, 1978
  • Der Schattenfotograf, 1978
  • Erfülltes Dasein, 1979
  • Kassiber und neue Gedichte, 1979
  • Ein Unglücksfall, 1981
  • Gelernt ist gelernt, 1984
  • Emil und die Direktiven, 1985
  • Mein Leben als Zeitgenosse, 1987
  • Zigeunerballade, 1988
  • Weihnachts-Schnurren, 1988
  • Verkehrszeichen, 1991 (with Werner Kohn)
  • Als Vater sich den Bart abnahm, 1995
  • Die Prinzessin kommt um vier, 2000 (with Rotraut Susanne Berner)
  • Kasimir hat einen Vogel, 2000 (with Manfred Bofinger)
  • Doddlmoddl, 2003 (with Egbert Herfurth)

Notes and references

  1. Schult 2020, p. 439; Hock 2017.
  2. Hock 2017.
  3. Hock 2017, pp. 440f.; Blencke 2003, p. 59.
  4. Blencke-Dörr 2007; Blencke 2003, pp. 59–61; Hock 2017.
  5. Blencke 2003, pp. 59–62.
  6. Blencke 2003, pp. 65f..
  7. Hock 2017; Linder 2014.
  8. Schnurre's exact words were quoted in contemporary obituaries and are reprinted in Linder 2014: "Am Grab keine Predigt, keine Ansprache, keine Musik. Aber jemand mit guter Stimme soll die schönste Geschichte der Welt am offenen Grab vorlesen. Sie heißt ‚Unverhofftes Wiedersehen‘, und es hat sie Johann Peter Hebel geschrieben. Ich bitte darum, schon am Grab, auf jeden Fall noch auf dem Friedhof, wieder Alltagsgespräche zu führen."

Bibliography

  • Blencke, Katharina (2003). Wolfdietrich Schnurre. Eine Werkgeschichte. Frankfurt am Main: Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften. ISBN 978-3-631-51259-3 – via Internet Archive.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Blencke-Dörr, Katharina (2007). "Wolfdietrich Schnurre". In Hockerts, Hans Günter (ed.). Neue deutsche Biographie (in Deutsch). 23. Berlin. pp. 346–347. ISBN 978-3-428-00181-1. OCLC 486179.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Blume, Dorlis; Haunhorst, Regina; Zündel, Irmgard (19 January 2016). "Wolfdietrich Schnurre". Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (in Deutsch). Retrieved 23 April 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Hock, Sabine (20 October 2017). "Schnurre, Wolfdietrich". Frankfurter Personenlexikon (online edition) (in Deutsch). Retrieved 23 April 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Schult, Maike (15 September 2020). "Die Pflicht zur Deutlichkeit. Wolfdietrich Schnurre zum 100. Geburtstag". Pastoraltheologie (in Deutsch). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 109 (9): 436–442. doi:10.13109/path.2020.109.9.436. ISSN 0720-6259.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • "Schnurre, Otto (1894-1979)". Kalliope-Verbund. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>