Adam Zagajewski Wins the Heinrich Mann Prize
#language & literature
small, Adam Zagajewski Wins the Heinrich Mann Prize, Adam Zagajewski, Kraków, 2011, photo: Tomasz Wiech / Forum, zagajewski adam portret wiech tomek 3_6701069.jpg
Adam Zagajewski has received the Heinrich Mann Prize presented by the Berlin Academy of Arts.
As Sebastian Kleinschmidt said during the awards ceremony, which took place in the academy near the Brandenburg Gate:
His poems, short stories and essays are of unique tone of longing and an echo, in which perception and memory, inner and outer worlds still resound. Two melodies simultaneously – a tragic major and a cheerful minor, two worlds seeking for each other, finding each other in their key moments.
In his speech Zagajewski spoke about the creativity of Heinrich Mann and his brother Thomas, positing a thesis that their two distinct personalities mirrored the inner conflict of Europe’s 20th-century culture. As he stressed, the conflict between the “left-wing and liberal Heinrich, and the metaphysical, nationalistic Thomas” wasn’t only about political views. It also wasn’t limited to “Heinrich’s pacifism and Thomas’s warlike attitude during WWI”:
The dispute and tension between the two, then-young brothers revealed the rupture of European culture – the conflict between two contradictory traditions, which sometimes tenderly, sometimes with with hatred, competed against each other, which still compete, although nowadays this conflict isn’t as passionate. Indifference dominates. Indifference dominates, but the tension, between tradition of the Enlightenment and the romantic longing, which sometimes gains a religious tone, remains.
– Zagajewski argued.
Adam Zagajewski is a poet, a prose writer, an essayist and a translator, a laureate of numerous prestigious literary awards. His name is often mentioned as a candidate for the literary Nobel Prize. His works have been translated into numerous languages. Zagajewski is one of the most known Polish writers in Germany. He also publishes in reputable German literary magazines Sinn und Form and Akzente.
The Heinrich Mann Prize is presented since 1953 and comes with a €8,000 awa.
Source: PAP, 28.03.2015, transl. Agata Dudek, 30/03/15