Stranger at home
to mark Günter Kunert’s 90th birthday
Ulrich Noethen reads poems and prose by Günter Kunert
arranged by Gerhard Ahrens
‘Home is what everyone seeks for in childhood and where no one has ever been.’
Günter Kunert has always painfully missed a place to call ‘home’. Born in Berlin in 1929, Kunert was not permitted to go to secondary school because his mother was Jewish. After the war, he studied graphic design at the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst Berlin Weissensee. He financed his studies by writing satirical poems and stories for the magazine Ulenspiegel. His first volume of poetry, Wegschilder und Mauerinschriften, was published in 1950. Meeting Johannes R. Becher and Bertolt Brecht profoundly influenced him. From 1960 onwards, Kunert found himself increasingly in conflict with the GDR authorities. His novel Im Namen der Hüte was published in West Germany; it was not printed in the GDR until nine years later. In 1972, he accepted an offer of a visiting professorship in Austin, Texas, and in 1975 he spent a year in Warwick, England. He was expelled from the SED party because he signed the writers protest against the expatriation of the singer-songwriter Wolf Biermann. In 1979, he was granted permission to leave the GDR and settled in West Germany, in Kaisborstel near Itzehoe, where has lived ever since.
Writing became the author’s ersatz home country. Ulrich Noethen will be reading from Kunert’s extensive works, which frequently focus on the lack of a sense of community, security and a safe refuge and the feeling of having no home.
Stranger at home
€ 16 / concessions € 12
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