Wolfgang Hilbig

Wolfgang Hilbig ( born August 31, 1941 in Meuselwitz, † June 2, 2007 in Berlin) was a German poet and writer.

  • 7.1 monographs
  • 7.2 Compilation 7.2.1 General
  • 7.2.2 For descriptive II ( 1985)
  • 7.2.3 To Wives (1987 )
  • 8.1 obituaries


Wolfgang Hilbig was born on 31 August 1941 in the Thuringian Meuselwitz. His father was reported missing in 1942 at Stalingrad. He left his family consisted of the two grandparents, his mother and him. The grandfather Kaszimier Starlek had immigrated before the First World War from the Polish located in the voivodship of Lublin Biłgoraj to Thuringia.

After eight years of schooling in his hometown Hilbig learned the trade of a Bohrwerksdrehers. After the serve his military service he worked as a toolmaker, Erdbauarbeiter and assembly workers on the Meuselwitzer lignite mining. 1967 delegated him to be operating in a " Circle worker-writers " to Leipzig. For this, the talented self-taught artist, however, was ruled out only a year later, because its there recited poems were met with complete incomprehension. Before operating the violent end of the Prague Spring Hilbig in a manifest psychological crisis from which seemed only by offering his friend Sigmar own, take it with you in lying near Dresden Heidenau, to pave a way out. Hilbig lived since the spring of 1969 with his fist and his family, which limited coexistence but soon came to an end through the space and financial very narrow circumstances.

After Hilbig the writer Gert Neumann in Leipzig found shelter for a while, he returned in 1970 after Meuselwitz in the großelterlich maternal residence back. He is now working in his hometown as a heater of a state-owned enterprise. 1978 Hilbig was arrested and released after a short time without charge. He moved to East Berlin, where he found again as an operating heater work.

In 1979, Wolfgang Hilbig started his own business as a writer, his whereabouts alternated between East Berlin and Leipzig. 1985, he left with a travel visa, the GDR to West Germany.

Hilbig lived in Berlin since the early 1990s; he had a daughter. From 1994 to 2002 he was married to the writer Natasha Wodin. On June 2, 2007, he succumbed to cancer. He is buried in the Dorotheenstädtischer cemetery in Berlin. Matthias Hilbig Biskupek characterized as follows: " One in, literary ' well gelittener man who nevertheless received 18 literary awards, but nothing of an intellectual to be had ... He was affable, showed his erudition and hardly had a boxers nose. Because he punched in his youth. "


Hilbig's first attempts as a writer - his preferred genre was at that time the poetry - remained unpublished in the GDR. In the Federal Republic of Germany to cries for help from the other side (1978 ) attention was drawn to him by some of his poems in the anthology. His first volume of poetry, Absence (1979 ) was published by S. Fischer Verlag in Frankfurt am Main, which Hilbig a fine for " foreign exchange offenses" earned.

In the late 1970s Hilbig gave his occupation as a heater and only worked as a writer. With the support of Franz Fühmanns 1980 some of his poems were printed in an East German magazine for the first time. His prose Bottom Neomond (1982 ) was published by S. Fischer. The poetry and prose collection voice vote appeared in 1983 by Reclam in Leipzig, albeit with visible intervention of censorship ("the sea in Saxony ").

Hilbig 1985 to 1990 received a valid visa for the Federal Republic of Germany. During this time he published not only more stories and poems, but also his debut novel A transfer (1989 ), which was praised by the majority of literary criticism.

Remained the subject of his work, even on the turn out, the dual existence as workers and writers in the GDR as well as the search for individuality. The focus of his second novel, "I " (1993), who also found a favorable reception in the literary world, is an unsuccessful poet, who works for the State Security of the GDR. His short story collections The work on the Furnaces ( 1994) and The news of the Trees (1996 ) revolve around life and work in his home in central Germany. Hilbig's third novel The temporary restoration (2000 ) also criticized this benevolent, has clearly autobiographical.


Wolfgang Hilbig was a member of the German Academy for Language and Literature, the Free Academy of the Arts Leipzig, the Saxon Academy of Arts and the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts.



The books were published, unless otherwise specified, in S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main.


  • Absence. Poems. 1979, ISBN 3-596-22308-3.
  • The Versprengung. Poems. 1986, ISBN 3-596-22350-4.
  • Pictures of the narrative. With etchings by Horst Hussel. 2001, ISBN 3-10-033625-9.
  • Poems. Volume 1 of the works ( complete edition ). 2008, ISBN 978-3-10-033641-5.

Stories and novels

  • Bottom Neomond. Narratives. ( Aufbrüche. bungalows. Idyll. Thirst. , The end of the night. Readers. Autumn half. Er. Locust. The enclosure. The heater ) 1982, ISBN 3-596-22322-9.
  • The letter. Three stories. ( II Description The letter. Fears of Beethoven), 1985, ISBN 3-596-22342-3.
  • The territories of the soul. Five pieces of prose. Friedensau Press, Berlin, 1986, ISBN 3-921592-31-3.
  • The women. 1987, ISBN 3-596-22355-5.
  • A transfer. Novel. 1989, ISBN 3-10-033604-6.
  • About the tone. Three prose pieces. Friedensau Press, Berlin, 1990, ISBN 3-921592-56-9
  • Old knacker. Narrative. 1990, ISBN 3-10-033608-9.
  • The news of the trees. With lithographs by Olaf Nicolai. Sisyphus Press, Berlin 1992, ISBN 3-928660-07-1.
  • Green green grave. Narratives. (Fixed base. He, not me. Green green grave. Eleventh Thesis on Feuerbach ) 1993, ISBN 3- 10-033616 -X.
  • I. Novel. 1993, ISBN 3-10-033617-8.
  • The work on the furnaces. Friedensau Press, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-921592-85-2.
  • The temporary restoration. Novel. 2000, ISBN 3-10-033623-2.
  • The sleep of the just. Narratives. 2002, ISBN 3-10-033624-0.

Anthologies and Others

  • The workers. In 1976.
  • Voice vote. Reclam, Leipzig 1983.
  • The sea in Saxony. Prose and poetry. Afterword by Hans -Jürgen Schmitt. Books Gutenberg, Frankfurt am Main 1991, ISBN 3-7632-3846-8.
  • Between the havens. Poetry and prose. With an essay by Adolf Endler. Reclam, Leipzig 1992, ISBN 3-379-01419-2.
  • Summary of the criticism. Frankfurt lectures on poetics. 1995, ISBN 3-596-22383-0.
  • Narratives. 2002, ISBN 3-596-15809-5.
  • The smell of books. Prose and poetry. Read by the author. Audio -Verlag, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-89813-223-4.

Musical settings

  • Horst Lohse: veiling. (2002/2003) for medium voice and ensemble. Premiere in Stuttgart in 2005. (House of the Philharmonic; Christina Ascher [ Mezzo- Soprano ]; Janus Ensemble Karlsruhe, Conductor: Ernst Helmuth Flammer. )
  • Helmut Zapf: accountability. (2005) for alto and oboe. Revised version (2008 ) for soprano and cello. Premiere on 16 October 2008 in Dusseldorf. ( Maxhaus; Irene Kurka [ Soprano ], Burkart Zeller [ cello ]. )

Secondary literature

  • Short biography to: Hilbig, Wolfgang. In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 1 Ch links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4.


  • Frauke Meyer- Gosau (ed. ): Wolfgang Hilbig. Text & criticism, literary magazine. Volume 12, July 3 1994. Boorberg, Munich 1994.
  • Uwe Wittstock ( ed.): Wolfgang Hilbig - materials to life and work. Information and materials for literature, Volume 12253rd Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1994.

( in chronological order )

  • Gabriele Eckart: Language trauma in the texts Wolfgang Hilbig. GDR Studies, Volume 10, Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1996.
  • Bärbel Heising: "Letters full of quotations from oblivion ". Intertextuality in the work of Wolfgang Hilbig. Bochum's writings on German literature, Volume 48 Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1996.
  • Klaus Welzel: loss of utopia - the German unit in the Mirror of East German writers. [ Volker Braun, Stefan Heym, Wolfgang Hilbig, Christa Wolf. ] Epistemata. Series literature, Volume 242 Königshausen and Neumann, Würzburg 1998.
  • Beatrix Stan: poetry of doom - doom poetry? A a comparative essay on the apocalyptic imagery in the lyrical work of Wolfgang Hilbig and Edgar Allan Poe. Dissertation at the University of Essen in 1999.
  • Sylvie Marie Bordaux: literature as Subversion. A study of the prose work of Wolfgang Hilbig. Cuvillier, Göttingen 2000.
  • Paul Cooke: Speaking the taboo. A study of the work of Wolfgang Hilbig. Amsterdam publications on language and literature. Vol 141 Rodopi, Amsterdam, 2000. ( English )
  • Michael Haase: A Question of Enlightenment. Literature and state security in novels by Fritz Rudolf Fries, Günter Grass and Wolfgang Hilbig. European Enlightenment in Literature and Language, Volume 13, Lang, Frankfurt am Main, 2001.
  • Jens extinguisher: Myth, Power and cellar language. Wolfgang Hilbig's prose in the mirror of the post. Amsterdam publications on language and literature, Volume 151 Rodopi, Amsterdam, 2003.
  • Sabine Sistig: changing self-identity in the postmodern era? Time and Narration in Wolfgang Hilbig's "I " and Peter Kurzeck "Nobody Dies". Epistemata. Series literature, Volume 407 Königshausen and Neumann, Würzburg 2003.
  • Yvonne Delhey: Black orchids and other blue flowers. Reform socialism and literature in the GDR. With interpretations of the literary works of Christa Wolf and Wolfgang Hilbig. Epistemata. Series literature. Vol 523 Königshausen and Neumann, Würzburg 2004.
  • Angelika Winnenberg: reception of Kafka in the literature of the GDR. Productive readings of Anna Seghers, Klaus Schlesinger, Gert Neumann and Wolfgang Hilbig. Epistemata. Series literature, Volume 527 Königshausen and Neumann, Würzburg, 2006.
  • Hans Jürgen Balmes, Jörg Bong, Alexander Roesler and Oliver Vogel (ed.): Wolfgang Hilbig. Posts by Marcel Beyer, Patrick Findeis, Wolfgang Hilbig, Jürgen Hosemann, Uwe Kolbe, Claudia Rusch, Ingo Schulze, Litz Seiler, Neue Rundschau, Vol 119. 2008, Issue 2 S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main, 2008.
  • Michael Buselmeier (ed.): Memories of Wolfgang Hilbig. With contributions by Michael Buselmeier, Karl Corino, Jürgen Hosemann, Jayne -Ann hedgehog, Wulf Kirsten, Uwe Kolbe, Ingo Schulze and Natasha Wodin. Edition House of Artists, Volume 26 Wunderhorn, Heidelberg, 2008.
  • Karen Lohse: Wolfgang Hilbig. A motivic biography. Leipzig 2008.
  • André Steiner: The narrative self. Studies on the narrative work of Wolfgang Hilbig. Stories from 1979 to 1991. Novels from 1989 to 2000. European University Studies, Series 1, Volume 1970. Lang, Frankfurt am Main, 2008.
  • Ines parts: White hum. Literary Synesthesia in the contemporary literature. Literature. Volume 12 Frank & Timme, Berlin, 2008.
  • Richard Pietraß (ed.): Wolfgang Hilbig. With 40 poems Hilbig, voices of Michael Buselmeier, Franz Fühmann, Uwe Kolbe and Natasha Wodin and graphics by Harald Kretzschmar and Gerda Lepke. Poetry album, 284 Maerkischer Verlag, Wilhelmshorst 2009, ISBN 978-3-931329-84-6
  • Birgit Dahlke: Wolfgang Hilbig ( = meteors Vol 8 ) Military Hahn, Hannover 2011.



  • Adolf Endler: Hell / Maelstrom / absence. Fragments about Wolfgang Hilbig. In: Thorsten Ahrend (ed.): Wolfgang Hilbig: "Between the paradises ". Prose, poetry. Reclam Library, Fiction, Volume 1419th Reclam, Leipzig 1992.
  • Hans- Christian Stillmark: Franz and Wolfgang Hilbig Fühmann. A dialog for timeliness of romance. In: Brigitte Krüger ( eds.): Everyone has his Fühmann. Origin - Embossing - habit. Approaches to poetics and work of Franz Fühmanns. Conference on the life and work of Franz Fühmanns from 26 to 28 February 1997 at the Institute for German Studies at the University of Potsdam. Lang, Frankfurt am Main, 1998. Pp. 251-263.
  • Hans- Christian Stillmark: " Old knacker ... Altdeckerei ... Alteckerei ... Alterei ". Wolfgang Hilbig's narratives in the light of Julia Kristeva's poetics. In: Michael Hoffmann and Christine Kessler (ed.): contact relations between linguistics and literary studies. Language - system and activity. Volume 47 Lang, Frankfurt am Main, 2003. Pp. 357-372.

For descriptive II ( 1985)

  • Hans- Christian Stillmark: In impotent Halluzinationstaumel the derealization. Negative synesthesia in Wolfgang Hilbig's " Description II". In: Lia Secci, Anna Fattori and Leonardo Tofi (ed.): Sinestesie. Percezioni sensoriali multiple nella cultura degli ultimi quarant'anni. Università degli studi di Perigia. Letterature modern e Contemporanee. Incontri, Volume 7, Naples 1999. XXXVI, pp. 233-245.

For Wives (1987 )

  • Hans- Christian Stillmark: Wolfgang Hilbig - " The Women". A cross-over, among others, to myth, the Bible and Freud. In: Eva Lezzi and Helmut Peitsch (ed.): literature, myth and Freud. Colloquium in honor of Elke Lieb, 20 July 2007. University -Verlag, Potsdam, 2009. Pp. 143-155.
  • Markus Symmank: Wolfgang Hilbig - " The Women". In: Essays, trans configurations carnivalesque in contemporary German literature. Studies based on selected texts by Wolfgang Hilbig, Stephan Krawczyk, Katja Lange -Müller, Ingo Schulze and Stefan Schütz. Epistemata. Würzburg's scientific writings. Series literature, Volume 370 Königshausen and Neumann, Würzburg 2002. Pp. 139-172.
  • Uwe Wittstock: Dirty characters. In: idem: From Stalin Allee Prenzlauer Berg. Way of GDR literature. From 1949 to 1989. Piper series. Band 1136. Piper, Munich 1989. S. 203-207. [ = Basement speeches of Jack the Ripper. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Edition of 28 November 1987. ]