Friederike Mayröcker


(German title: études)
ca. 196 pages
Friederike Mayröcker
Foto: Friederike Mayröcker
© Brigitte Friedrich

Friederike Mayröcker was born in 1924 in Vienna. From 1946-69 she taught English at various secondary schools in Vienna. Her first literary works date back to 1939. She published poems in a journal as of 1946, in 1956 her first book came out. Since then she has written poetry, prose, plays, radio plays and children's books. She has been honoured with numerous distinguished national and international literary awards, among them:

Bremer Literaturpreis 2011

Peter-Huchel-Preis 2010

Hermann-Lenz-Preis 2010

Premio Internazionale 2003

Georg-Büchner-Preis 2001

Karl-Sczuka-Preis 2001

America Award Prize 1997

Else-Lasker-Schüler-Preis 1996

Friedrich-Hölderlin-Preis 1993

Erich-Nossack-Preis 1989

Anton-Wildgans-Preis 1982

Großer Österreichischer Staatspreis 1982

Rights available

»I cannot accept death.«


Études is what Friederike Mayröcker calls her prose poetry and lyrical prose pieces, studies then, or »shreddings«, as she says, splintering, brittle and highly concentrated; the language heightened to the most essential of it only, that is the dissolution of boundaries between time and space, the transposition of the lived moment into an eternal here and now. All of them are variations on the evanescence of everything terrestrial – a motive that has long since become the dominant one in the poeta magica’s later works which are constantly radicalising themselves.

In each étude, the scandal of the finitude of life is being subjected to an irresistible spell of metamorphosis that makes the cumbersome mundane disappear into the detachedness of poetry. Friederike Mayröcker’s études are texts written in an enchanting musical minor, melancholic, vulnerable, but full of life and firm in resisting death: »NO no death no transformation no demise no parting no unison«. The great poet shows herself uncompromisingly devoted solely to writing; her poetry is of unsurpassable linguistic boldness.


»She has composed her poetic prose volume from all sorts of ingredients, flashing images of perception and of memory, but also from what she has read, from older, yesterday’s or the day before yesterday’s notes, and creates a patchwork out of them that draws its luminosity from this heterogeneous ensemble.« Leopold Federmair, NZZ

»The new work of the great poet Friederike Mayröcker is a precise and moving calligraphy of loneliness, one she modestly calls ›études and that still contains so much more than exercises.« Meike Fessmann, Süddeutsche Zeitung

»A tricky read – rewarded by mysterious delight about this fireworks of prose poetry.« Günter Kaindlstorfer, Deutschlandfunk

»What a declaration of love to the German language: In her études, Friederike Mayröcker proves herself to be a master of prose poetry.« Ernst Osterkamp, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»Written in a highly concentrated, idiosyncratic language, the author deals with life, art and poetry. […] of astounding freshness.« Dirk Hohnsträter, WDR 3

»Mayröcker spreads out detailed, in themselves fragmented splinters full of wisdom and beauty in front of the reader. They shine down into the depth of a dream, illuminate the day with enchanting images of nature and erotically charged reminiscence and contain many a beautiful, surreal jest.« Norbert Hummelt, Der Tagesspiegel

»In times of the e-Book, a poetic text can hardly begin more moving than Friederike Mayröcker’s études […] The secret of wild improvisation in Mayröcker’s poetry shows itself as artistic defiance of the hierarch yin which signs, words and sentences make reference one another. Out of the seemingly disconnected […], new textures evolve that are of a radical weightlessness.« Carola Wiemers, Deutschlandradio Kultur

»[…] a work that is as moving as it is hard to grasp has been created using all genres.« Paul Jandl, Die literarische Welt

Other publications

fleurs/fleurs (2016)

Rights available

Cahier/cahier (2014)

Rights available

ich sitze nur GRAUSAM da/ich sitze nur GRAUSAM da (2012)

Sold to:

France (Atelier de l'Agneau), Bulgaria (Ergo)

Scardanelli/Scardanelli (2009)

Sold to:

USA (The Song Cave), Spain (Ediciones de Aqui), Sweden (Ellerströms), Hungary (Pluralica)

brütt oder Die seufzenden Gärten/brütt (1998)

Sold to:

English world rights (Northwestern UP – published, rights reverted), France (Atelier de l'Agneau – published, rights reverted)

Reise durch die Nacht/Night Train (1984)

Sold to:

English world rights (Ariadne Press), France (Atelier de l’Agneau), Italy (Sellerio – published, rights reverted), Denmark (Palomar), Hungary (Jelenkor Kiado – published, rights reverted), Lithuania (Reklamos Vertimo Leidybos Vad – published, rights reverted)