Alfred Kolleritsch

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Alfred Kolleritsch (2014)
Dedication: very warmly Alfred Kolleritsch (1992)

Alfred Kolleritsch (born February 16, 1931 in Brunnsee , Southern Styria , † May 29, 2020 in Graz ) was an Austrian writer , poet , philosopher , founder of manuscripts , one of the most important Austrian literary magazines, and co-founder and long-time president of Forum Stadtpark in Graz .

Live and act

50 years of manuscripts : Alfred Kolleritsch with Peter Handke (2010)
Alfred Kolleritsch (2011)
Alfred Kolleritsch in front of the oak at his home in Brunnsee (2013)

Kolleritsch grew up as the son of the forest manager of the Brunnsee estate, Alfred Gottfried Kolleritsch (1904–1972), as well as the postal worker Lukretia, nee. Semlitsch (born 1907), and graduated from a high school in Graz with the final exam in 1950. He was the older brother of the Styrian musicologist Otto Kolleritsch . In 1939, eight years after Alfred Kolleritsch's birth, Helga Kolleritsch was finally born as the third member of the group. Alfred Kolleritsch studied German , English , philosophy and later history at the University of Graz . He passed the teaching examination for history, philosophy and German studies in 1955 and then completed a probationary year at the Academic Gymnasium in Graz . From 1958 he worked as a teacher in Leibnitz , from 1963/64 at the Academic Gymnasium in Graz. In 1964 he received his doctorate as Dr. phil. with a thesis on Martin Heidegger . Kolleritsch's attention was drawn to him before he graduated from high school when he met the Viennese philosopher Leo Gabriel (born 1902), who gave him Heidegger's work, Plato's Theory of Truth . From the 1972 summer semester onwards, Kolleritsch repeatedly accepted teaching assignments for philosophy and literature at the Karl-Franzens University in Graz.

In 1958, Alfred Kolleritsch published his first poem It's too late . In 1959 Alfred Kolleritsch was co-founder and from 1968 to 1995 President of the Forum Stadtpark in Graz. In 1960 he founded one of the most important Austrian literary magazines, the manuscripts , as a literary platform of the Forum Stadtpark, in which he primarily offered experimental authors the opportunity to publish and which he recently edited with Andreas Unterweger . This was a very daring undertaking when it was founded. Kolleritsch's wife Hedwig Tax (born 1939), with whom he was married from 1958 to 1966, also made numerous contributions to the manuscripts. At first the manuscripts appeared three times, then four times a year. Just one year after it was founded, authors from the “Vienna Group” and the “Graz Group” were also represented with their work in the manuscripts . The circle of authors grew from year to year and from 1976 symposia were also held. Since 1995 the manuscripts have been independent of the Forum Stadtpark and are published by the “manuscript literature association”. With the manuscripted authors like Oswald Wiener or Ernst Jandl, Kolleritsch helped to attract attention. Among the younger authors who found their first opportunity to publish, include Wolfgang Bauer , Barbara Frischmuth , Michael Scharang , Gunter Falk and Peter Handke . They all owe him their breakthrough as recognized authors.

In 1968 Alfred Kolleritsch married Hildegard Leikauf (born 1948), who was studying art history at the time. The marriage lasted until 1982.

In 1972 Alfred Kolleritsch published Die Pfirsichtöter. Seismographic novel . Despite regularly writing his own texts for the “manuscripts”, he brought out this independent publication relatively late.

In 1973, Kolleritsch, along with other Austrian writers such as Friederike Mayröcker , Ernst Jandl and Gustav Ernst, was one of the founding members of the Graz Authors' Assembly , which forms the antithesis of the Austrian PEN Club.

In 1974 the novel The Green Side and the story From the Black Cap appeared.

In 1976 he was appointed to the board of directors of the international festival for contemporary art Steirischer Herbst , in 1980 he became a corresponding member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry in Darmstadt , and in 1987 a jury member of the Petrarca Prize . From 1997 he was a corresponding member of the literature department of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts .

Alfred Kolleritsch received both the Medal of Honor and Certificate of Honor from the City of Graz (1981) and the Great Decoration of Honor from the State of Styria for special merits (1984).

In 1987 Kolleritsch married Gabriele Margarethe Lichtenegger (born 1952); in the same year his son Philipp Jovan was born.

Alfred Kolleritsch with his friend Josef Wilhelm , the former director of the Academic Gymnasium Graz (2012)
Alfred Kolleritsch, reading at the Akademisches Gymnasium Graz on the occasion of his 85th birthday (2016)

Alfred Kolleritsch retired as a teacher at the Academic Gymnasium Graz at the end of the 1992/93 school year. On the occasion of his 85th birthday, he gave a reading from his works at the Academic Gymnasium Graz, to which he was very attached to the end. Among them was his powerfully eloquent legacy to “the boys”, which he wrote full of poetry but also fighting spirit .

Kolleritsch was considered a fighter against the "return of the same thing". In his works he turned against the constriction and freezing of life as well as against totalitarianism and fascism .

Alfred Kolleritsch also repeatedly cooperated with artists from other genres , especially the cooperation with his long-time colleague at the Academic Gymnasium Graz and close friend, the painter and graphic artist Hartmut Urban . Hartmut Urban, for example, illustrated some literary works by Alfred Kolleritsch such as the 1992 book Hemler der Vogel (see Bibliography). In 1995 Hartmut Urban designed an intervention in the staircase of the Neue Galerie in Graz . For this he structured and condensed the texture of book pages from poems by Alfred Kolleritsch by means of gestural overpainting. Hartmut Urban's brother Gerolf Urban donated this intervention, the large-scale, multi-part literature timetable , now in the Academic Gymnasium Graz, from the school's estate.

Kolleritsch died on May 29, 2020 at the age of 89 in Graz. The farewell took place on July 3, 2020 in the parish church of Mureck . Among others, Barbara Frischmuth, Christine Frisinghelli , Kolleritsch's successor as Forum Stadtpark President, Klaus Hoffer , Andreas Unterweger and the Styrian Governor Hermann Schützenhöfer held funeral speeches. Alfred Kolleritsch was buried in the closest family circle in a grave of honor in the city of Graz.

In various reactions following his death, he was u. a. by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen , State Secretary for Art and Culture Andrea Mayer , Gerhard Ruiss (spokesman for the IG authors' authors ), Harald Posch (head of Werk X in Vienna and former student of Kolleritsch at the Academic Gymnasium Graz), Julya Rabinowich and the Graz film festival Diagonale for example as “facilitator of literature”, “gifted writer”, “unpretentious supporter and loyal companion of many authors” or as “entry drug into the art world for schoolchildren”.

Text examples by Alfred Kolleritsch

“The world is a boy's regiment, says Heraclitus , it is a game, the wisdom of mastering the teacher-student game is far away. We should know that ultimately we have to cope with a chaos in which we lay traces of possible paths. Hardly any other profession is exposed to this risk. "

- From Alfred Kolleritsch's speech "Stumbling Farewell" on his own farewell as a teacher (1993)

“Tell me something that won't go away. What was gone is gone. The thought sticks to the hand as long as a bird's wing beats. "

- One of the last poems that Kolleritsch in January 2020 in his book of poems The night of seeing published

“There is sun in the room, one flower remains, one hand seeks the story of the other. Time takes us. Your only claim. "

- Alfred Kolleritsch

"It speaks to us, dark and light at the same time, immortal without duration."

- Alfred Kolleritsch

Statements about Alfred Kolleritsch

“Alfred Kolleritsch is a friendly person with a pretty evil eye. With this evil eye for the conditions around him and the friendliness for the individual people, he wrote his book. "

- Peter Handke on Kolleritsch's book "The Last Austrian" (1995)

"Alfred Kolleritsch was and is a promoter and discoverer, pioneer for a modern literary landscape and the substrate on which many writers as well as art and cultural groups could develop far beyond the borders of Styria and formed an avant-garde within the established company. I am proud that we can honor such a personality as her. "

- Governor Franz Voves in his speech on the awarding of the Ring of Honor of the State of Styria to Alfred Kolleritsch on September 18, 2013

"How lucky you can be to have seen you, one of the great Austrian poets, as a German teacher at the Graz Academic High School."

- Markus Schirmer , internationally successful Austrian pianist about his former teacher Alfred Kolleritsch

“I don't think there is anyone who is as conscious of provisionality in writing as Kolleritsch. [...] Because this writer is guaranteed not to force us to do anything, he just shows us everything. "




  • The peach killers. (1972)
  • The green side. (1974)
  • Allemann. (1989)


  • Conversations in the spa. Scattered, collected. (Essays, 1985)
  • The last Austrian. (1995)


  • Remembered anger. (1972)
  • Practice in the avoidable. (1978)
  • In front of the eyes. (1982)
  • Crash into happiness. (1983)
  • Opposite ways. (1991)
  • Two ways, nothing more. (1993)
  • In the valleys of the world. (1999)
  • The sum of the days. (2001)
  • Liberation of feeling. (2004)
  • Comforting parallels. (2006)
  • There is the tremendous other. (2013)
  • The night of seeing. (2020)


  • Authenticity and inauthenticity in Martin Heidegger's philosophy. (Dissertation, 1964)
  • From the black cap. (Narrative, 1974)
  • About being a child. - Letters to Kolleritsch's sons Julian and Philipp (1991)
  • Hemler the bird. - With drawings by Hartmut Urban (1992)
  • The rescued cooks. - play (1997)
  • Marginalia and contradictions - texts on literature, culture and politics. (2001)
  • Peter Handke / Alfred Kolleritsch: Beauty is the first civic duty. Correspondence. (2008)

Web links

Commons : Alfred Kolleritsch  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Alfred Kolleritsch is dead., May 29, 2020, accessed on May 29, 2020 .
  2. Werner Krause: He left, but he stays forever: poet, doyen and "manuscript" editor Alfred Kolleritsch is dead., May 29, 2020, accessed on May 29, 2020 .
  3. a b Author and editor Alfred Kolleritsch tot., May 29, 2020, accessed on May 29, 2020 .
  4. a b c State Ring of Honor for Alfred Kolleritsch. ORF Steiermark, September 18, 2013, accessed on September 18, 2013 .
  5. Annual report of the Academic Gymnasium Graz 1993/94, p. 43.
  6. We mourn Alfred Kolleritsch. In: July 2, 2020, accessed August 2, 2020 .
  7. Alfred Kolleritsch: Literary Legacy: “Reality? You can smash them with your heart! ” In: July 3, 2020, accessed July 4, 2020 .
  8. Entry about Hartmut Urban on ( Memento of December 13, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), click on “More information and larger picture”, accessed on December 8, 2013.
  9. ^ Written information from the former director of the Academic Gymnasium Graz, Dr. Josef Wilhelm, December 9, 2013, is available to the author.
  10. a b c Obituaries of Alfred Kolleritsch. In: June 21, 2020, accessed June 22, 2020 .
  11. ^ BIG Citizen Information of the City of Graz: Obituary notice of the City of Graz - Johann Weber (pdf, p. 35.)., June 2020, accessed on June 9, 2020 .
  12. Werner Krause: Farewell to Alfred Kolleritsch - At the end of the road, the return to the roots. In: July 2, 2020, accessed July 4, 2020 .
  13. Werner Krause: Farewell to Alfred Kolleritsch: "He is and remains our Styrian Socrates". In: July 3, 2020, accessed July 4, 2020 .
  14. ^ Mourning for "facilitator" of literature Alfred Kolleritsch., May 30, 2020, accessed on May 31, 2020 .
  15. Annual report of the Academic Gymnasium Graz 1993/94, p. 35.
  16. Alfred Kolleritsch (02.16.1931 - 29.05.2020)., June 3, 2020, accessed on June 11, 2020 .
  17. Text on the back of the cover of Alfred Kolleritsch's book “The Last Austrian” (1995).
  18. a b Ring of Honor of the State of Styria for Alfred Kolleritsch. State of Styria, September 18, 2013, accessed on September 18, 2013 .
  19. Elfriede Jelinek: Under the shock of reality. About the language artist Alfred Kolleritsch . In: Frankfurter Rundschau , April 5, 1997.
  20. Wikipedia article on Austrian decorations.
  21. Wikipedia article on the list of bearers of the Austrian decorations and crosses of honor.
  22. Prof. Dr. Alfred Kolleritsch ( Memento from April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ),, accessed on February 2, 2015.
  23. ^ Franz Nabl Prize to Alfred Kolleritsch. Der Standard, October 7, 2009, accessed October 8, 2009 .
  24. ^ Out of the blue ( memento of October 18, 2014 in the Internet Archive ).
  25. Kolleritsch received the highest award in the country. In: Small newspaper. September 18, 2013, accessed April 21, 2020 .
  26. ^ Great decorations and decorations of the state of Styria for science, research and the arts . Article dated May 4, 2017, accessed May 26, 2018.
  27. On the art of "catching light with a noose" , review of "Consoling Parallels". In: Literaturhaus Wien , June 22, 2006