Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Scope and Content

Consists of letters and proofs relating to the translated work of Hans Magnus Enzensberger.

Administrative / Biographical History

Hans Magnus Enzensberger is one of Germany’s most important poets, as well as a provocative cultural essayist, a highly influential editor and one of Europe’s leading political thinkers. His poetry’s social and moral criticism of the post-war world owes much to Marxism, yet insists on the freedoms often denied by Communist governments; like Orwell he maintains that satire and criticism should not be party-political. Born in 1929 in the Bavarian town of Kaufbeuren, he grew up in Nazi Nuremberg. He studied German literature, philosophy and languages at the Universities of Elangen, Freiburg im Breisgau and Hamburg, and in Paris at the Sorbonne, completing his doctorate in 1955 with a thesis on the poetics of Clemens Brentano. At Freiburg the philosopher Martin Heidegger was an influential figure, but Enzensberger found him ‘disagreeably authoritarian’. He then worked as a radio editor in Stuttgart until 1957.