17 December 2018

Akademie der Künste mourns Wilhelm Genazino

On 12 December 2018, Mannheim-born writer Wilhelm Genazino died in Frankfurt, aged 75. He had been a member of the Akademie der Künste since 2011. In 2004 he received the Georg Büchner Prize, the most prestigious German prize for literature.
The subject matter of his books is often the everyday life of German towns - as typified by his well known Abschaffel trilogy from the end of the 1970s. His last novel, Kein Geld, keine Uhr, keine Mütze appeared early in 2018.

Friedrich Dieckmann, Member of the Akademie der Künste, paid tribute to Wilhelm Genazino in the following words:
'Art,' Wilhelm Genazino once wrote, 'may certainly arise as a reflection of society, but does not feed back into it; rather, it remains a structure in subjective minds. In this situation, literature remains just a supporting actor for sobriety.' Genazino's later novels, which deal with the problems of (petit) bourgeois existence in a society of comfort and well-being, derive their own unique radiance from this sobriety. It is the outpouring of an art that makes the narrative content transparent without according it higher sanctitude. With the death of Genazino, German literature has lost one of its most lucid story-tellers.'

The Akademie der Künste mourns the death of its member.

Jeanine Meerapfel
President of the Akademie der Künste