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44 BACHMANN, Ingeborg (1926–1973) Austrian writer. Ingeborg Bachmann was born in Klagenfurt in the Austrian state of Carinthia on 25 June 1926. Her mother, Olga Bachmann , born Haas (1901–1998), came originally from Heidenreichstein in Lower Austria, where her family owned a knitwear factory. Her father, Matthias Bachmann (data unknown), came from a Protestant farming family in Obervellach in Carinthia and trained as a primary school teacher in Klagenfurt. He was headmaster of a school in Klagenfurt for many years and served in both World Wars as an officer. Ingeborg Bachmann had two younger siblings: a sister Isolde, born in 1928, and a brother Heinz, born in 1939. From 1932 onwards, she attended primary and secondary school in Klagenfurt, sitting her Matura in 1944 and subsequently attending a teacher training institute until May 1945. Here, Bachmann ’s German teacher was the popular local writer of ‘Heimat’ literature and one-time Nazi sympathizer Josef Friedrich Perkonig, whose parochial influence would be significant in, among other works, her first publication, Die Fähre (The ferry, 1946). Bachmann’s perception of the dual nature and inheritance of her childhood environment had a lasting effect on her work. On the one hand, the area around Obervellach , situated at the intersection of the geographical and linguistic borders of Austria, Italy and Slovenia, is characterized as an idealized microcosm of the Habsburg Empire , where different peoples, cultures and languages mingled peacefully within one political unit. Following the writer Joseph Roth, Bachmann called this mythical, childhood place Galicien, but in later works its utopian strain is increasingly challenged by its darker, historical aspect. An awareness of the destruction brought about in history is certainly heightened in retrospect, but extracts from Bachmann’s diary, written during the summers of 1944 and 1945, show a clear, contemporaneous rejection of Nazi ideology. It could be argued that both Bachmann’s life and her life’s work are wedged between, on the one hand, the dream of an impossible utopian state in private and public, fictional and historical forms, and on the other hand, between the individual and collective modes of behavior that beset that dream from the outset. Leaving Klagenfurt in the autumn of 1945, Bachmann studied philosophy, German and psychology, first in Innsbruck, then Graz and finally (from 1946–1949) in Vi- 45 enna, where she graduated in 1950 with a dissertation on Heidegger, Die kritische Aufnahme der Existentialphilosophie Martin Heideggers (Critical reception of the existentialist philosophy of Martin Heidegger, 1949). During this period as a student, she published a number of short stories as well as her first poems and also worked on a novel, Stadt ohne Namen (The town without a name), for which she was unable to find a publisher and which subsequently disappeared. But it was as a poet, exploring the nature of time, love and memory that Bachmann was to become famous. It was also during this period that she became part of the literary establishment of post-war Vienna . As a member of Hans Weigel’s group in Café Raimund, Bachmann became acquainted with the most important literary figures of post-war Vienna, including Ilse Aichinger and many others. Her most significant contact here was Paul Celan, with whom Bachmann conducted an extraordinary literary dialogue through her work. They dedicated work to one another and, within their texts, wove a complex network of mutual quotations and references. Their close personal and intellectual relationship was to endure until Celan’s death in 1971. In April 1952, Hans Werner Richter, the established West-German writer and editor , invited Bachmann and Celan to attend a meeting of the Gruppe ’47 (Group ’47) in Niendorf an der Ostsee. The following year, Bachmann was awarded the prestigious Preis der Gruppe ’47 (Group ’47 Prize), an event that marked Bachmann’s breakthrough as a writer and her branching out from the Viennese cultural milieu. She resigned from her job as a scriptwriter with the radio-broadcaster Rot-Weiß-Rot (RedWhite -Red) in Vienna and shortly afterwards moved to Rome. From 1953 onwards, Bachmann collaborated with Hans Werner Henze, contributing poems and libretti for (among others) his Nachtstücke und Arien (Night-pieces and arias), Der Prinz von Homburg (The prince of Homburg), and Der junge Lord (The young lord). In 1953, her first collection of poetry, Die gestundete Zeit (Mortgaged time) was published to critical acclaim, followed in 1956 by a second collection, Anrufung des Großen Bären (Incantation of the great bear). Despite the fact that...


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