Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Biography of Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Hans Magnus Enzensberger poet

Hans Magnus Enzensberger (born 11 November 1929 in Kaufbeuren), is a German author, poet, translator and editor. He has also written under the pseudonym Andreas Thalmayr. He lives in Munich.

According to a May 2010 article and interview, Enzensberger was born in 1929 in a small town in Bavaria and is the eldest of four boys. He is part of the last generation of intellectuals whose writing was shaped by first-hand experience of the Third Reich. The Enzensberger family moved to Nuremberg, the ceremonial birthplace of National Socialism, in 1931. Julius Streicher, the founder and publisher of Der Stürmer, was their next-door neighbour. Hans Magnus joined the Hitler Youth in his teens, but was expelled soon afterwards. "I have always been incapable of being a good comrade. I can't stay in line. It's not in my character. It may be a defect, but I can't help it."

Enzensberger studied literature and philosophy at the universities of Erlangen, Freiburg and Hamburg, and at the Sorbonne in Paris, receiving his doctorate in 1955 for a thesis about Clemens Brentano's poetry. Until 1957 he worked as a radio editor in Stuttgart. He participated in several gatherings of Group 47. Between 1965 and 1975 he edited the magazine "Kursbuch". Since 1985 he has been the editor of the prestigious book series Die Andere Bibliothek, published in Frankfurt, and now containing almost 250 titles. Together with Gaston Salvatore, Enzensberger was the founder of the monthly TransAtlantik. His own work has been translated into more than 40 languages.

Enzensberger is the older brother of the author Christian Enzensberger.

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The Great Goddess

She works away day and night,
bent over her darning-egg,
an end of thread between her lips,
mending all manner of things.
Ever new holes, new ladders.
Sometimes she nods off
just for a moment
or for a century. Then,
pulling herself together,

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