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Raoul Schrott  [ Austria ]

Biography

Schrott, portrait
Copyright Ali Ghandtschi

Guest 2011, 2017.

Bibliography

Die Erfindung der Poesie

Gedichte aus den ersten viertausend Jahren

[als Hg.]

Eichborn

Frankfurt a. M., 1997

Tristan da Cunha oder Die Hälfte der Erde

Hanser

München/Wien, 2015

Die Kunst an nichts zu Glauben

Hanser

München/Wien, 2005

Homer, Ilias

[als Ü.]

Hanser

München, 2008

Erste Erde. Epos

Hanser

München, 2016

Raoul Schrott was born in 1964. He grew up in Tirol, Tunis and Zürich, and studied languages and literature in Norwich, Paris and Berlin. From 1986 until 1987, he was the secretary to Philippe Soupault in Paris. In 1988, Schrott wrote his doctoral dissertation titled »Dada 1921−1922« and in 1998 was given a professorship in poetry in Innsbruck. His 1997 anthology »Die Erfindung der Poesie« (tr. The invention of poetry) traces the evolution of European poetry over four thousand years to its origins.

His literary oeuvre encompasses various genres: the novels »Finis Terrae«, the fictional travelogue of an archaeologist, »Tristan da Cunha«, named after an island in the southern Atlantic which serves as a place of longing, the short story »Khamsin«, the novella »Die Wüste Lop Nor« (tr. The Lop Nor Desert), »Das Schweigende Kind« (tr. The silent child), as well as several collections of poetry. Many of his works present nature as a correlate to the human condition while also serving as an object of projection for our psychologies. »The physis of nature is poetry’s only true counterpart with which it must grapple continuously, if poetry means to reveal the truth.« In his collection of essays, »Handbuch der Wolkenputzerei« (2005; tr. Manual for cleaning clouds), Schrott proves himself to not only be a theorist of poetic craftsmanship but also a critic of the feuilleton where »a dialectic of mere tastes is exercised which eagerly ignores the actual work.« In fact, Schrott has most frequently been criticized for his translations – such as the epic of »Gilgamesh« (2001) − which led to impassioned debates with his critics. From 2005 until 2008, he worked on a new translation of »The Illiad«; in this context, »Homers Heimat. Über die realen Hintergründe des troianischen Krieges« (tr. Homer’s native country. The real reasons for the Trojan War), Schrott’s much-debated thesis on Homer and Troy, was published in 2007, and was reissued with a reinterpretation of the beginning of the original text in 2015. Published in 2011, »Gehirn und Gedicht« (tr. Brain and poetry), Schrott’s collaboration with the neuroscientist Arthur Jacobs, explores the cognitive basis of literary forms of expression. His most recent work »Erste Erde. Epos« (2016; tr. First earth. Epic) reviews our current state of knowledge, ranging from the Big Bang to the creation of the earth, life and humankind. The result is a magnificent narrative panorama that focuses on our ethics and a modern view of humankind.

Raoul Schrott is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the Prize of the State of Carinthia as part of the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition, the Berlin Literature Prize, the Peter Huchel Prize for Poetry, the City of Mainz Stadtschreiber Literaturpreis and the Joseph Breitbach Prize. He lives in Austria.

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