Torberg (Kantorberg), Friedrich

views updated


TORBERG (Kantorberg), FRIEDRICH (1908–1979), Austrian novelist, journalist, and editor. Torberg, who was born in Vienna, won acclaim with his first novel, Der Schueler Gerber hat absolviert (1930). He worked for the Prager Tagblatt and the Selbstwehr during the 1930s. In 1938 he fled from Prague to Switzerland and fought in a Czech brigade with the French army until the collapse of France. With the help of the "Emergency Rescue Committee," he escaped to the U.S. in 1940 as a persecuted writer. There he lived first as a scriptwriter in Los Angeles and later in New York. Torberg returned to Vienna in 1951, where he was for many years the editor of Forum, a literary and cultural monthly.

His novella Mein ist die Rache (1943) and his novel Hier bin ich, mein Vater (1948) dealt with the fate of Jews under Nazi rule. His other novels include Abschied (1937) and Die zweite Begegnung (1950). He published two collections of verse, Der ewige Refrain (1929) and Lebenslied (1958). Among his further works are Das fuenfte Rad am Thespiskarren (1967), Golems Wiederkehr (1968), Suesskind von Trimberg (1972), and two collection of anecdotes on Jewish life in the Habsburg monarchy, Die Tante Jolesch (1977) and Die Erben der Tante Jolesch (1978). Torberg's collected works, including his extensive correspondence, appeared in 19 volumes (1962–91). In addition to his extensive literary output, Torberg also worked as a German translator of Ephraim *Kishon's novels.


F. Lennartz, Deutsche Dichter und Schriftsteller unserer Zeit (19598), 756–8; H. Zohn, Wiener Juden in der deutschen Literatur (1964), 101–5. add. bibliography: J. Strelka (ed.), Festschrift (1970); A. Tobias, in: blb, 19 (1980), 56/57:169–73; R. Hilbrand, in: D. Axmann (ed.), Und Lächeln ist das Erbteil meines Stammes (1988), 89–106; D. Axmann, in: ibid., 149–58; H. Zogbaum, in: Australian Journal of Jewish Studies, 7 (1993), 1, 71–92; J. Thunecke, in: Modern Austrian Literature, 27 (1994), 3–4, 19–36; E. Adunka, in: ibid., 213–37; F. Tichy, Friedrich Torberg (1995); C. Sajak, in: J. Thunecke (ed.), Deutschsprachige Exillyrik von 1933 bis zur Nachkriegszeit (1998), 157–69; H. Abret, in: M. Braun et al. (ed.), "Hinauf und Zurueck in die herzhelle Zukunft" (2000), 521–41; S. Hart, "History through Humor … Friedrich Torberg's 'Tante Jolesch' Books, with particular Reference to the Problems of Assimilation and Anti-Semitism" (Ph.D. diss., King's College, London; 2001).

[Sol Liptzin /

Mirjam Triendl (2nd ed.)]