Goll, Claire

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GOLL, CLAIRE (1891–1977), German writer, journalist, and translator. Goll was born Clarisse Liliane Aischmann in Nuremberg into a strict family. In 1911, after the suicide of her brother and because of the mental disorder of her mother, she left her family and married the publisher Heinrich Studer. Her first publications, Mitwelt (1918), an anthology of poems, and her narratives Die Frauen erwachen (1918), were influenced by her family tragedies and focused on the suffering and mortified human being. Her texts are also committed to pacifism and can be classed as expressionistic. In the late 1910s Goll studied philosophy at the University of Geneva, broke up with her husband, and had a love affair with Rainer Maria Rilke. The correspondence between Rilke and Goll was published under the title Ich sehne mich sehr nach deinen blauen Briefen (2000). This exchange of letters contains seven poems in French from Rilke that were published as Verges in the journal Nouvelle Revue Française and the forgotten manuscript Gefuehle from Claire Goll.

In 1921 Goll married Yvan *Goll. With him she participated in the Dadaist meetings in Zurich and later invited Surrealists to their apartment in Paris. In 1927 Goll published Eine Deutsche in Paris (1927), which deals with the life and failure of a woman in Paris in the late 1920s. Her novel Arsenik (1932) also emphasizes the life of a woman around this period of time caught between love, failure, jealousy, and murder. Her own life with Yvan Goll was marked by a volatile relationship which both worked through in their Poèmes d'amours (1925), Poèmes de la jalousie (1926), and Poèmes de la vie et de la mort (1926). Most of Goll's texts had been written originally in French and translated by Goll herself. In 1939 Goll immigrated to the United States, returning in 1947 to Paris, where Yvan Goll died. After his death Goll became a disputatious editor of her husband's works and published her autobiography, Ich verzeihe keinem: Eine literarische Chronique scandaleuse unserer Zeit (1976). In 1953 she confronted Paul *Celan with the accusation of plagiarism, claiming that Celan had copied from Yvan Goll's Traumkraut. Her own novels Der gestohlene Himmel (1962) and Traumtänzerin (1971) went unnoticed. They link up with her early writings narrating her childhood and youth.


C. Pleiner, Du uebtest mit mir das feuerfesteLied: Eros und Intertextualität bei Claire und Iwan Goll (1999); V. Mahlow, Die Liebe, die uns immer zur Hemmung wurde: weibliche Identitätsproblematik zwischen Expressionismus und Neuer Sachlichkeit am Beispiel der Prosa Claire Golls (1996); E. Robertson (ed.), Yvan Goll-Claire Goll: Texts and Contexts (1997).

[Ann-Kristin Koch (2nd ed.)]