Hölzer, Max 1915–1984

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Hölzer, Max 1915–1984

PERSONAL: Born 1915, in Graz, Germany; died 1984, in Paris, France.

CAREER: Poet, editor, and translator.


(Editor, with Edgar Jené) Surrealistische Publikationen, J. Haid (Klagenfurt, Austria), 1950.

Der Doppelgänger (poems), illustrated by Jean Cocteau, Neske (Pfullingen, Germany), 1959.

(Editor and translator) Im Labyrinth: Französische Lyrik nach dem Symbolismus (poems; in French), Piper (Munich, Germany), 1959.

Nigredo (poems), Insel (Frankfurt, Germany), 1962.

Amfortiade, and Other Poems, translation by Ruth and Matthew Mead, Malcolm Rutherford (Newcastle upon Tyne, England), 1968.

Gesicht ohne Gesicht (poems), S. Fischer (Frankfurt, Germany), 1968.

Mare occidentis; Das verborgene Licht; Chrysopöe (poems), Neske (Pfullingen, Germany), 1976.

Entstehung eines Sternbilds: Prosagedichte, Rimbaud (Aachen, Germany), 1992.

Berauscht von Abwesenheit, Lyrik Taschenbücher [Munich, Germany], 2002.

Contributor to anthologies, including Aus zerstäubten Steinen: Texte deutscher Surrealisten, edited by Bernhard Albers, Rimbaud, 1995. Editor, with Edgar Jené, of Surrealistische Publikationen (literary journal), 1950–52.

SIDELIGHTS: Max Hölzer was one of the premier mid-twentieth-century surrealist German poets, although his work has not been widely translated and remains little known outside his native land. During the 1950s, Hölzer was one of the few German poets who cultivated surrealism independently. In Vienna, between 1950 and 1952, he collaborated with Edgar Jené in the editing and publishing of Surrealistische Publikationen, the first surrealist and dadaist literary review in the German language. In this publication, Hölzer presented the first post-World II German translations of works by French poets Breton, Péret, and Lautréamont, among others. At that time, Germany did not have a strong surrealist movement, but with fellow writers K. O. Götz, Rudolf Wittkopf, and Dieter Wyss, Hölzer helped create an elite framework for surrealism. Although most German surrealists in the postwar period engaged in a friendly exchange of ideas, no German equivalent to the Parisian surrealist community ever materialized.

In 1959 Hölzer published Im Labryinth: Französische Lyrik nach dem Symbolismus, an anthology of symbolist poems he had translated from the French. Nine years later he collaborated with Matthew and Ruth Mead on Amfortiade, and Other Poems, a collection of Hölzer's poems translated into English and published in a limited edition of 250 copies. Later in his life, Hölzer dabbled in the study of the Kabala, which work had a great impact on his poetic production.



Word in der Zeit, Volume 9, numbers 8-9, Otto Breicha, "Max Hölzer," pp. 5-10.


Rimbaud Web site, http://www.rimbaud.de/ (June 7, 2005), "Max Hölzer."

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Hölzer, Max 1915–1984

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