18 October 2018

Akademie der Künste acquires the archive of Katharina and Michael Rutschky

Katharina Rutschky (1941–2010) and Michael Rutschky (1943–2018) were amongst the most renowned essayists of their generation. And now their publishings which have been bequeathed form part of the literature archive of the Akademie der Künste. The collections contain draft works and materials supplementing the journalistic works and essays, files, diaries and memo calendars, photography and pictorial art works. The entire stock of both archives amounts to thirteen linear metres.

Katharina Rutschky studied German and history, as well as sociology and educational science in Göttingen and at the Free University of Berlin. Her much-discussed sourced collection helped to coin the term 'poisonous pedagogy'. Her work has focused on gender sociology and feminist politics in great depth, and to no lesser extent on the debates surrounding child abuse. Her paper, published in 1992, Erregte Aufklärung. Kindesmissbrauch: Fakten & Fiktionen, was the source of great public controversy.

Michael Rutschky studied sociology, literary criticism and philosophy under Theodor W. Adorno and Jürgen Habermas in Frankfurt am Main from 1963 to 1971. He received his doctorate in 1978 from the Free University of Berlin for his work on a psychoanalytical interpretation of literature. He contributed to the Merkur, the newspapers Transatlantik and Der Alltag, worked as a freelance author for the press, radio and television, and was interested in photography and urban sociology. His autobiographical work Erfahrungshunger (1980; reprinted by Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2017) was seen as pioneering in its portrayal of the seventies. His book Merkbuch (Suhrkamp, 2012) chronicled the post-war period using his father's appointment diary and notes made on business trips as a basis.

In 1997 the Akademie der Künste honoured Michael Rutschky, and then in 1999 Katharina Rutschky, with the Heinrich-Mann Prize for their essay work. Their literary bequest is linked in many ways to the inventory of the Academy archive, for example in the correspondence with Harald Hartung, Martin Wiebel and Hanns Zischler. Partly indexed, the archives can be accessed subject to current regulations. A description of the inventory can be viewed in the data base of the archive. Professor Marcel Lepper, as head of the literature archive, will answer any relevant queries. He can be contacted at the email address lepper@adk.de or by telephone on +49 (0)30 200 573 200.

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