About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide
About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide
About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide


Austrian literature: Ingeborg Bachmann

Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973)

Ingeborg Bachmann was born in Carinthia and studied philosophy, psychology all over Austria before she settled down in Vienna. In 1951, she started working as an editor at an Austrian radio station, where she wrote her first radio play.

In 1952 she acchieved breakthrough by reading her lyrical poetry at a "Gruppe 47" meeting, a loose confederation of writers known for their ardent interest in theory and debatte. From 1953 she kept moving between Vienna, Zurich and Rome, where she eventually settled down in 1963. Her poetry collections 'Gestundete Zeit' (Deferred Time) and 'Anrufung des Großen Bären' (Invocation of the Great Bear) were highly successful.

In 1961 her partly autobiographic collection of short stories 'Das dreissigste Jahr' (The Thirtieth Year) was published, in which she criticized post-war society. Her short stories collected in 'Simultan' belong to the most dense short stories in German language and are a definite highlight allowing for insights into the Austrian way of being.

In 1971 she wrote her first novel 'Malina', taking on a very introverted stance and exploring the possibilities of subjective 'female writing' long before feminism pocketed the concept. 'Malina' was part of her unfinished project 'Todesarten' cycle (Ways of Dying). However, her novels 'Der Fall Franza' (Franza's Case) and 'Requiem für Fanny Goldmann' (Requiem for Fanny Goldmann) where published posthumously and in fragments only. In 1973 Ingeborg Bachmann died, because she fell asleep smoking in her bed.

Ingeborg Bachmann is one of the major players in Austrian literature. She was awarded many prices. One of Austria's major annual literary awards was named in her honor Ingeborg Bachmann price. Some of her short stories and radio plays have been turned into movies.