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† Raymond Federman  [ USA ]

Biography

† Raymond Federman Portrait
© Doris Poklekowski, www.foto-poklekowski.de

Guest 2003.

Bibliography

Samuel Beckett: His Works and his Critics
University of California Press
Berkeley, London, 1977

Double or Nothing
Swallow Press
Chicago, 1971

Amer eldorado
Stock
Paris, 1974

Me too
West Coast Poetry Review
Reno, 1975

Take it or Leave it
The Fiction Collective
New York, 1976

The Voice in the Closet
Coda Press
Madison, Wisconsin, 1979

The Twofold Vibration
Indiana University Press
Bloomington, 1982

The Rigmarole of Contrariety
The Bolt Court Press
New York, Buffalo, 1982

Smiles on Washington Sqare
Thunder´s Mouth Press
New York, 1985

Spieltexte
Literarisches Colloquium
Berlin, 1989
Übersetzung: Peter Torberg

To Whom it May Concern
The Fiction Collective
Boulder, Colorado, 1990

Now Then
Isele
Freiburg, 1992
Übersetzung: Karin Graf

Surfiction: Der Weg der Literatur
Suhrkamp
Frankfurt/Main, 1992
Übersetzung: Peter Torberg

Critifiction: Postmodern Essays
State University of New York Press
Albany, New York, 1993

The Supreme Indecision of the Writer
The Boltcourt Press
Buffalo, New York, 1995

Der Pelz meiner Tante Rachel
Faber & Faber
Leipzig, 1997
Übersetzung: Thomas Hartl

Penner-Rap
Suhrkamp
Frankfurt/Main, 1998
Übersetzung: Peter Torberg

Offene Schuhe: Eine Art Lebensgeschichte
Weidler
Berlin, 2001
Übersetzung: Martin Arndorfer

99 Hand Written Poems
Weidler
Berlin, 2001

Mon corps en neuf parties
Weidler
Berlin, 2002

Übersetzer: Martin Arndorfer, Gerhard Effertz, Karin Graf, Thomas Hartl, Peter Torberg

Raymond Federman is internationally considered one of the most influential representatives of postmodern literature.  The French-American writer and literature scholar of Jewish descent was born in 1928 in Paris.  However, he dated his "real" date of birth as July 16, 1942, the day when more than 12,000 people were arrested in Paris and deported to the concentration camps.  Federman’s parents and both of his sisters were killed at Auschwitz.  He himself survived because his mother hid him in a cupboard.  Federman emigrated to the U.S. in 1947 where he got by as a casual laborer and jazz saxophonist until he was drafted to the army in 1951; he served as a parachutist in Korea.  In 1953 he was granted U.S. citizenship.  In 1954 he began to study Comparative Literature at Columbia University and concluded his studies in 1963, at UCLA with a doctoral dissertation on Samuel Beckett with whom he became close friends.  Starting in 1977, numerous guest professorships brought him to Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Although his work encompasses books of poetry, volumes of essays, scholarly work, articles, and translations, he considered himself primarily as a novelist.  His experimental debut novel 'Double or Nothing' was published in 1971; it later received numerous awards and caused his immediate international reputation.  The novel links the formal experiments of concrete poetry with epic prose and is considered one of the most important avant-garde works of the past century.  His extensive, highly autobiographical work revolves around the sense of isolation and guilt felt by someone who survived by mere chance; this is also the case in 'Take It or Leave It', which he himself has referred to as his most important book.  In his Hamburger poetry lectures (1990), borrowing from Surrealism, he coined the term 'surfiction' for the type of literature that exposes the fictive nature of reality and is characterized by repetitions, digressions, and personal reflections. In 2001 'Loose Shoes' was published, a journal-like book about his intellectual work, consisting of 365 experimental fragments and containing the programmatic motto against which the entirety of his work must be understood: “A novel is not so much about writing an adventure as it is about the adventure of writing".  Federman’s work, which has in part been published bilingually and which has been translated into more than a dozen languages, has received numerous awards, including the American Book Award (1986).  Raymond Federman died October 2009 in San Diego.

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[http://www.federman.com/]