Heinrich Boll

Böll, Heinrich

Heinrich Böll (hīn´rĬkh böl), 1917–85, German novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. Böll presents a critical, antimilitarist view of modern society in a collection of masterful short stories, Wanderer, kommst du nach Spa· · · (1950; tr. Traveller, If You Come to Spa…, 1956), and the novels Wo warst du, Adam? (1951; tr. Adam, Where Art Thou?, 1955) and Billard um halb zehn (1959; tr. Billiards at Half Past Nine, 1961). Humanity's excesses and its inability to alter his destiny are among Böll's principal concerns in the narratives Und sagte kein einziges Wort (1953; tr. Acquainted with the Night, 1954), Haus ohne Hüter (1954; tr. Tomorrow and Yesterday, 1957), Ansichten eines Clowns (1963; tr. The Clown, 1965), and Entfernung von der Truppe (1964; tr. Absent without Leave, 1965). Many of Böll's works present his critical reflections on Catholicism, the church, and contemporary German society. Among his other notable works are a collection of travel essays, Irish Journal (tr. 1967); the novel Gruppenbild mit Dame (1971; tr. Group Portrait with Lady, 1973); two English anthologies, Eighteen Stories (1966) and Children Are Civilians Too (1970); and formerly unpublished stories, Der blasse Hund (1995; tr. The Mad Dog, 1997). Böll won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1972.

See J. H. Reid, Henrich Böll: A German for His Time (1988).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Billiards at Half-Past Nine
Heinrich Böll.
McGraw-Hill, 1962
The Unguarded House
Heinrich Böll; Mervyn Savill.
Arco, 1957
European Memories of the Second World War
Charles Burdett; Claire Gorrara; Helmut Peitsch.
Berghahn Books, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Private and Public Filters: Memories of War in Heinrich Boll's Fiction and Nonfiction"
The Language of Silence: West German Literature and the Holocaust
Ernestine Schlant.
Routledge, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. One "The First Postwar Decade: Heinrich Boll and Wolfgang Koeppen"
The Obsession to Destroy Monuments: Mishima and Boll
Nemoto, Reiko Tachibana.
Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 39, No. 2, Summer 1993
An Artificial Wilderness: Essays on 20th-Century Literature
Sven Birkerts.
David R. Godine, 1990
Librarian’s tip: "Heinrich Boll" begins on p. 69
Group 47: the Reflected Intellect
Siegfried Mandel.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1973
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Heinrich Boll begins on p. 40
Contemporary European Novelists
Siegfried Mandel.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1968
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Heinrich Boll begins on p. 79
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