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Riley, Helene M. 1939- (Helene M. Kastinger Riley)

RILEY, Helene M. 1939-
(Helene M. Kastinger Riley)


Born March 11, 1939, in Vienna, Austria; naturalized U.S. citizen; daughter of Josef (a machinist) and Helene (a photographer; maiden name, Friedl) Kastinger; married Edward R. Riley (deceased); married Darius G. Ornston (a physician), May 11, 1983; children: Schatzi, John, Jesse, Michael. Education: Attended business college in Vienna, Austria, 1953-55; University of North Texas, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1970; Rice University, M.A., 1973, Ph.D., 1975. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Southern Baptist. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, singing, painting, needlecraft.


Home—133 Whittington Dr., Greenville, SC 29615-2623. Office—Department of Languages, Clemson University, 510 Strode Tower, Clemson, SC 29631. E-mail—[email protected] and [email protected].


Rice University, Houston, TX, instructor, 1971; Yale University, New Haven, CT, assistant professor, 1975-78, associate professor, beginning 1979, head of Summer Language Institute, 1979-81, and fellow of Davenport College; Washington State University, Pullman, WA, associate professor, between 1979 and 1985, chair of Department of Foreign Languages, beginning 1981; Clemson University, Clemson, SC, associate professor, prior to 1985, professor of German, 1985-95, Alumni Distinguished Professor of German, 1995—, head of Department of Languages, 1985-86. Middlebury College, guest professor, 1976; guest speaker at other institutions, including Appalachian State University, McMaster University, Newberry Lutheran College, Cambridge University, University of Hawaii, University of New Hampshire, State University of New York—Stony Brook, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Alberta. Also worked for Kemper Insurance in Dallas, TX, 1971. Exhibitions: Producer and director of the traveling exhibit "Cultural Contributions of German-Speaking Settlers in South Carolina," 1996-2000.


Modern Language Association of America, American Association of Teachers of German, Society for German-American Studies, American Association of University Professors (president, 1988-89), Verwertungsgesellschaft WORT, South Atlantic Modern Language Association, SCFLT, MIFLC, Alpha Chi.


Griswold grant, 1975-76; grants from Hilles Fund, 1979, 1982, German Academic Exchange Service, 1979, Holland Fund, 1982, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, 1982, and National Endowment for the Humanities, 1986, 1989, 1995; FRG Friendship Award, 1989; grants from Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, 1993, 1996, and South Carolina Humanities Council, 1996, 1997; award from German Friendly Society of Charleston, 1999.


Idee und Gestaltung. Das konfigurative Strukturprinzip in der Kurzprosa Achim von Arnims, Lang (Bern, Switzerland), 1977.

Ludwig Achim von Arnims Jugend-und-Reisejahre. Ein Beitrag zur Biographie, Bouvier (Bonn, West Germany), 1978.

Achim von Arnim in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten, Rowohlt (Hamburg, West Germany), 1979, revised edition, 1994.

Romain Rolland, Colloquium (Berlin, Germany), 1979.

Das Bild der Antike in der deutschen Romantik, Benjamins (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1981.

Virginia Wolf, Colloquium (Berlin, Germany), 1983.

Clemens Brentano, Metzler (Stuttgart, West Germany), 1985.

Die weibliche Muse. Sechs Essays über künstlerisch schaffende Frauen der Goethezeit, Camden House (Columbia, SC), 1986.

Ludwig Achim von Arnim. Kritische Schriften. Erstdrucke und Unbekanntes, Whittington (Greenville, SC), 1988.

Max Weber, Colloquium (Berlin, Germany), 1991.

Michael Kalteisen: Ein Deutscher in South Carolina, M. Fink (Merklingen, Germany), 1995.

Hildegard von Bingen, Rowohlt (Reinbek, Germany), 1997, revised edition, 1998.

Clemson University, Arcadia Publishing (Charleston, SC), 2002.

Author of pamphlets. Other writings including scripts for the videotapes "Journey to Freedom," 1992, "Heritage of Faith," 1994, and "Art and the Artisan: South Carolina German-American Artists of the 18th and 19th Centuries," released by Action Video, 1997. Work represented in anthologies, including In Her Mother's Tongue, edited by Lisa Kahn, Emerson (Denver, CO), 1983; Stefan Zweig: The World of Yesterday's Humanist Today, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1983; Critical Survey of Drama, edited by Frank N. Magill, Salem Press (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1986; and Romanticism and Beyond, Peter Lang (New York, NY), 1996. Contributor of poetry, articles, and reviews to periodicals in the United States and abroad, including Modern Language Review, Comparatist, Anglia, Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Austrian Studies Newsletter, South Carolina Historical, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, German Quarterly, Modern Language Quarterly, and Antiques. Some writings appear under the name Helene M. Kastinger Riley.


Helene M. Riley told CA: "I am a professional writer. When I was eleven years old, I wrote a short story about my dog and sent it to the editor of the 'children's page' of a newspaper in Vienna, Austria—my birthplace. The story was printed, and I had caught the fever.

"While raising my children as a single mother, I had little leisure for writing, but I did write letters to the local newspaper and poems (most were published in anthologies) and a novel, all in the hour before going to work at Kemper Insurance. That hour between the time the car pool dropped me off and my work hours started was prime and quiet time for writing.

"My most productive time as a writer commenced with the beginning of my professional life as a professor of German and a teacher. Initially my writing was related to my discipline—literary criticism. Soon, however, European publishers began asking me to produce high-quality, well-researched trade books for which there was a perceived spot on the market. Thus began my work for publishers that are market-oriented and which produce income for me.

"Over time I have learned to write in a disciplined fashion: four manuscript pages per day until the job is done. I always meet my deadlines, usually with time to spare.

"I enjoy writing and choose my subjects carefully, keeping in mind that, as I learn new and interesting things about the chosen topic, my view of the world in which I live is ever-expanding and changing. That's why I love to write. There is so much to be learned while researching the subject, and so much to be cherished during the analytical process of writing."



German Quarterly, fall, 1987, review of Die weibliche Muse. Sechs Essays über künstlerisch schaffende Frauen der Goethezeit, pp. 666-668.

German Studies Review, February, 1987, review of Die weibliche Muse, pp. 171-172.

South Atlantic Review, November, 1987, review of Die weibliche Muse, pp. 135-137.

Virginia 2, March, 1987, B. R. Erdle, review of Die weibliche Muse, p. 15.

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