Friedrich Christian Delius

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Friedrich Christian Delius took over the Grimm Poetics Professorship at the University of Kassel in November 2004. In doing so, the University of Kassel honored a politically minded and morally highly committed author who is consistently attuned to our current reality.

Delius was born in Rome in 1943, grew up in Hesse, studied German in Berlin, and earned his doctorate with a dissertation on the novel in 19th-century bourgeois realism. The dissertation bears the distinctive title Der Held und sein Wetter (The Hero and His Weather). He worked as a publishing editor first at Wagenbach and then at Rotbuch-Verlag and has been a freelance writer since 1978. Today he lives in Berlin and Rome.

Image: Hans Weingartz (Wikimedia Commons; CC-BY-SA-2.0-DE)
Friedrich Christian Delius (2006)

Delius first came to prominence with poems; he also wrote plays and radio plays. He is best known for his novels and short stories, which are characterized by very precisely captured images of our living conditions, whose inhospitality and alienation is a recurring theme in Delius' work. Their 'realism' is thus at the same time often of a decidedly satirical, unmasking character(Unsere Siemens-Welt, 1972). This also applies to his examination of German-German reality, for example in the stories Die Birnen von Ribbeck (1991) or Der Spaziergang von Rostock nach Syrakus (1995). At the same time, Delius shows himself to be an exceptionally versatile and imaginative author who repeatedly chooses new aesthetic forms - in a linguistically sovereign manner - and thus captivates his readers in ever different ways.

GPP event series with Christian Delius

Friedrich Christian Delius offered a lecture titled "Germany, a land of milk and honey - or why Friedrich Schiller would have called Joschka Fischer a barbarian" on November 3 in the Eulensaal of the Murhard Library in Kassel, as well as a seminar and an author reading on November 4 and 5.

Prizes and awards (selection):

  • 1971 Villa Massimo Fellowship
  • 2001 Daimler-Chrysler scholarship from the Casa di Goethe
  • 2004 Walter Hasenclever Literature Prize
  • 2007 German Critics Prize
  • 2011 Georg Büchner Prize