Biography of Ilse Aichinger (1921-VVVV)

Austrian writer born on November 1, 1921 in Vienna. Daughter of a professor and a Jewish doctor, Ilse Aichinger spent his childhood along with his twin sister, first in Linz and then Vienna. Her parents divorced he/she even very small being. After completing his Bachelor's degree in 1939 not permitted to study under the National Socialist regime for being half Jewish. Her sister emigrated to England, while he/she remained with her mother in Vienna. After the war he/she began to study medicine, but he/she interrupted his studies in 1947 to continue writing his novel, partly autobiographical, Die grossere Hoffnung (greater hope, 1948), his only novel which remains until today.

While his work is relatively small, Ilse Aichinger is located outside of the currents of the post-war literature. The reactions of the public to their texts ranging from admiration to the most absolute rejection, which coincides in turn with the increasingly overt secrecy of their texts. The fame came in 1948 with his Spiegelgeschichte (history of the mirror), a story which won the Group of 47 and that has become a classic of compulsory reading in schools. It tells the story of a young woman from birth until his death as a result of an abortion, but starting from the end. The stories that make up the volume Rede unter dem Galgen (speech under the gallows, 1952) are also made by way of a parable stories on any human experience in which reality and fantasy converge. This confluence is lost in subsequent narrations that are becoming increasingly abstract, thus rejecting any possibility of rational explanation. The reality is lost in a series of surreal, absurd, almost surreal combinations.

Their texts, growing shorter, are almost impossible to interpret. However, the language plays a key role in them: Aichinger is suspicious of it as a means of expression and is striving to rehabilitate it and give it the place that it deserves. In this way, their narrative texts are approaching the type of lyric writing, and in fact his poems are nothing more than shorter texts, but of the same style as the narrative.

Ilse Aichinger was married with the also Writer G√ľnter Eich, who died in 1972. He/She currently resides in Vienna.

Other works are: Verschenkter Rad (the gift wheel, poems, 1978), Meine Sprache und ich (my language and I, narrations, 1978), Kleist, Moos, Fasane (fluke, Moss, pheasants, prose, 1987).