Wolfgang Hildesheimer

Loveless Legends

(German title: Lieblose Legenden)
ca. 171 pages
Wolfgang Hildesheimer
Foto: Wolfgang Hildesheimer
© Isolde Ohlbaum

Wolfgang Hildesheimer was born on December 9th, 1916 in Hamburg and died on August 21st, 1991 in Poschiavo, Switzerland.

He spent his childhood in Hamburg, Berlin, Nijmegen (Netherlands), and Mannheim. After completing an apprenticeship in carpentry in Palestine, where his parents had emigrated to, he studied painting, textile design and stage design at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London from 1937 to 1939. After the beginning of World War II, he returned to Palestine and worked as a freelance graphic designer and painter in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In 1946 he worked at the Nuremberg trials as a simultaneous interpreter and court stenographer.

Afterwards, he became an author and a member of the Group 47. He caused a sensation with the speech he gave on the occasion of the International Theatre Week of the Student Theatre Groups in Erlangen entitled On the theatre of the absurd. In 1980 he gave the opening speech (What does music reveal) at the Salzburg Festival. Apart from his literary works, Hildesheimer also created collages which he assembled in several volumes.

Sold to

Spanish World Rights (Magisterio Espanol - published, rights reverted), Italy (Marcos y Marcos - published, rights reverted), Czech Republic (Odean - published, rights reverted), Estonia (Loomingu Raamatukogu)


Ever since their first publication, the Loveless Legends have almost become legendary themselves – as, possibly, has the world that coined their lovelessness. But love and its antonym cling to their object: and in that way, Hildesheimer’s stories cling to the image of a world that still deserves to be viewed with the wondering gaze of a child and that of the fierce satirist at the same time; a world that blushes under those gazes, but it’s a becoming blush at that.

Wolfgang Hildesheimer’s Loveless Legends have become legendary - and have remained true. They describe the strange and sometimes absurd stories and thoughts of people that seem strangely familiar, albeit strange, to us. Hildesheimer devotes himself to »geniuses« and that which is regarded as a »cultural asset« with wit and irony. His spirited and irreverent satires were met by enthusiastic readers.

Other publications

Mozart/Mozart (1977)

Sold to:

USA (FSG), UK & Commonwealth (Dent – published, rights reverted), Spanish world rights (Destino – published, rights reverted), Chinese simplex rights (East China Normal UP), Brazil (Zahar – published, rights reverted), France (Lattès / Presses Pocket / Bartillat – published, rights reverted), Italy (RCS /Rizzoli), Netherlands (Arbeiderspers – published, rights reverted), Denmark (Bogans – published, rights reverted), Sweden (Norstedts), Finnland (Otava – published, rights reverted), Korea (National Research Foundation of Korea), Japan (Hakusuisha – published, rights reverted), Czech Republic (Arbor Vitae – published, rights reverted), Slovakia (Opus – published, rights reverted), Hungary (Gondolat – published, rights reverted), Serbia (Dereta – published, rights reverted), Slovenia (Obzorba – published, rights reverted)

Tynset/Tynset (1965)

Rights available