Lecture

Durs Grünbein

My Years in the Zoo

Lecture by the writer
Introduction: Joachim Sartorius

Durs Grünbein

Durs Grünbein

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Past Dates

Durs Grünbein’s poetic oeuvre is still fairly young but has already received highly reputed awards like the Georg-Büchner Preis, the Friedrich-Nietzsche Preis and the Friedrich-Hölderlin Preis. Grünbein was born in 1962 in Dresden, studied dramaturgy at Humboldt University in Berlin, where he still lives and works as an author, essayist and translator.

According to Grünbein, to be modern means to be conscious of one’s own times. At the same time he calls himself an “accomplice of transience”. This has both a biological and a historical meaning: “It’s time you all rose. The sun won’t wait for you. / Arise from crumpled sheets before the glory / Melts and muck will dim your sight as always. / Freshly fallen snow is just as precious as those big diamonds, / For which wars are fought and provinces are traded. / A jeweller, the snow. It models where it falls. / It rounds up, rounds down and transcribes into beautiful curves, / And physics, quick as a swallow, will find the matching formula. / Monsieur, just think what you shall miss should you lose any time. / For you, for you the snow fell all night through.” [About Snow]

Grünbein describes his poetic as one that sees and marvels. What he likes about Berlin is a certain robust reality: “Berlin is a vacuum that has the ability to replenish itself over and over again, with no matter what as long as it is entertaining.”, said Grünbein when receiving the Berliner Literaturpreis 2006.