Bachmann, Ingeborg Pseudonym: Ruth Keller
Ingeborg Bachmann, photo
Bachmann, Ingeborg (pseudonym: Ruth Keller), b. Klagenfurt (Carinthia), June 25, 1926, d. Rome (Italy), Oct. 17, 1973 (following a fire), poet, writer of narratives and radio plays. Studied philosophy, psychology and German at the University of Vienna; doctorate in philosophy 1950 (thesis on "The Critical Reception of Heidegger´s Existential Philosophy"). B. first made her name as a poet in 1952 at a literary reading of the "Gruppe 47". After 1953 she lived in Zurich and Rome, where she settled in 1965. She is particularly renowned for her poetry; in the collection "The Respite" ("Die gestundete Zeit", 1953) she criticises post-war society´s efforts to recall the old order and in the "Invocation of the Great Bear" ("Anrufung des großen Bären", 1956) her themes are taken from mythology, revolving around the predicament and the utopia of human existence. In the "Frankfurt Lectures" on poetics, which she held as a visiting lecturer in 1959/60, she reflects on questions concerning the "writing self", the identity of a writer and considers the possibilities of literature as a means of changing the world. In 1961 she published her story collection "The Thirtieth Year" ("Das dreißigste Jahr"), which deals with different types of human relationships and coping with the aftermath of fascism. In 1965 she embarked on her largest project, the "Cycle of Ways of Dying" ("Todesarten-Zyklus"), where she shows how women´s suffering at the hands of men leads them to seek refuge in isolation and inner reclusion; only the novel "Malina" (1971) was completed, however: "Franza´s Case" ("Der Fall Franza") and "Requiem for Fanny Goldmann" ("Requiem für Fanny Goldmann") were left unfinished (published in 1979). Students of women´s studies often claim that her late work represents the "paradigm of female writing". Awarded the Georg Büchner Prize in 1964, the Grand Austrian State Prize in 1968, and the Anton Wildgans Prize in 1972.
Further works: Ein Ort für Zufälle, 1965; Simultan, 1972 (narratives); Gier, 1982 (narrative, posthumous in: Der dunkle Schatten, dem ich schon seit Anfang folge. I. B. - Vorschläge zu einer neuen Lektüre des Werks, ed. by H. Höller); Letzte, unveröffentlichte Gedichte, Entwürfe und Fassungen, ed. by H. Höller, 1998. - Radio plays: Ein Geschäft mit Träumen, 1952; Die Zikaden, 1955;. Der gute Gott von Manhattan, 1958. - Editions: Werke, ed. by C. Koschel et al., 4 vols., 1978; Sämtliche Erzählungen, 1980; "Todesarten"-Projekt, ed. by M. Albrecht, 4 vols., 1995; Römische Reportagen, ed. by J.-D. Kogel, 1998.
Literature: H. Höller, I. B. - Das Werk, 1987; A. Stoll, I. B. "Malina", 1992; E. Demski, I. B., 51995; K. Bartsch, I. B., 21997; S. Weigel, I. B., 1999.