Bernhard Setzwein

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Bernhard Setzwein (2010)

Bernhard Setzwein (born April 29, 1960 in Munich ) is a German writer .

Setzwein grew up in Bad Dürkheim , Cologne and Munich. In 1979 he graduated from high school in Munich and then did community service in the Oberland workshops for the mentally and physically disabled in Gaißach near Bad Tölz . From 1981 to 1986 Setzwein studied German and folklore at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . From 1983 to 1987 he was co-owner and managing director of Friedl-Brehm-Verlag in Feldafing . Setzwein has been a freelance author since 1986. He has lived in Waldmünchen since 1990 , interrupted by a stay in Cham ( Upper Palatinate ) (2015 to 2020). Until 2018 he was married to the grammar school teacher Ursula Daschner-Setzwein. Their daughter is the dance teacher and choreographer Lena Setzwein. Setzwein is a member of the Association of German Writers (VS), the PEN Center Germany and the Sudeten German Academy of Sciences and Arts . A partial premature legacy of set wine factory archive, which covers the period from his literary beginnings to around 2010, lies in the literary archive Sulzbach-Rosenberg and is available to the scientific work.

Literary work

Early work

Setzwein's literary work began in the mid-1970s with Bavarian dialect texts . As a schoolboy he came across Friedl-Brehm-Verlag, which at the time was considered to be the reservoir for progressive-critical dialect literature from Bavaria and Austria . After two narrow collections of dialect poems - vareck (1978) and Hobdz mi gern (1980) - there followed written German prose works such as Brandwunden (1981) and Wurzelwerk (1984), which made the author stand out as a novelist . The preferred setting for his books also remained in Hirnweltler's return (1987) and The Book of the Seven Righteous (1999), his hometown Munich. The latter narrative shows that authors as diverse as Jean Paul and Paul Wühr are equally part of Setzwein's literary benchmarks.

Focus on Central Europe

As a result of his move to the Bavarian- Bohemian border in Waldmünchen, the old Central European cultural area between the Danube and the Vltava increasingly became the focus of Setzwein's work from 1990 onwards . The title of his collection of essays, An Oath of the Flag on No Man's Land, is symptomatic . Literature about borders (2001), in the foreword of which the author writes: "Other people have their worldview, I have my borderview." Especially in the trilogy from the novels Die Grüne Jungfer (2003), Ein seltsames Land (2007) and Der neue Ton (2012), the author attempts to capture the epoch event of 1989 - the fall of the Iron Curtain - and its consequences with literary means. Flashbacks to the past as an aid to understanding the present play a major role here. Setzwein's historical family novel The Bohemian Samurai (2017) is characteristic. It tells the story of the once important Coudenhove-Kalergi family of counts , who lived in Ronsperg Castle (West Bohemia) . The résumés of some of its members, including Heinrich and Mitsuko as well as son Richard and daughter-in-law Lilly , range between tradition and modernity , nationalism and cosmopolitanism , Japanese and Central European culture, religious intolerance and the Enlightenment, as well as fulfillment of duty and hedonism . Setzwein's interest in Central Europe and the reception of his works did not stop at the Bavarian-Bohemian border. Some texts and books have been translated into Czech , Romanian , Polish , Hungarian and Bulgarian .

Nietzsche novel

The novel Not Cold Enough has a thematic and geographical special position in Setzwein's work . The focus of the story, set between 1881 and 1888, is the seven summer stays of the then largely unknown and unrecognized philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in the Upper Engadine mountain town of Sils-Maria . In a mixture of satire and homage , the author describes from the point of view of the simple, partly peasant population, the way of life, the world of thoughts and emotions of the psychic Nietzsche, who is falling into insanity in stages. Not cold enough , published in Nietzsche's 100th year of death (2000), was discussed in over 20 newspapers in Germany, Switzerland and Austria and is Setzwein's greatest success to date.


Since 2000, Setzwein has also increasingly emerged as a playwright . After he had already written two small chamber plays in the 1990s - Watten Wagner Wichs (1998), for example, dealt with a macabre episode from Munich's Nazi history - it is now primarily figurative plays that are performed as large-scale productions on open-air stages. The theatrical implementation of the authentic case of Anneliese Michel from Klingenberg , who died as a result of an exorcism ritual performed on her, aroused particular interest . The piece, entitled Foreign Voices , was performed in 2005 on the Freudenberg castle ruins . In 2007 Setzwein dramatized the life story of the last Bavarian executioner , Johann Reichhart , for the Upper Palatinate State Theater , the title of the play 3165 - Monologue of an Executioner alluding to the number of delinquents executed . Setzwein's play Late visit. Dietrich Bonhoeffer redivivus , which premiered on April 9, 2016 in the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp Memorial , is about the last days of the theologian who was executed by the Nazi judiciary in the concentration camp in Upper Palatinate . In 2018, Setzwein wrote the play Lola Montez - the wrong Spaniard - especially for an open-air performance at Dagestein Castle in Vilseck, Upper Palatinate . With Resl Unser , a commissioned work for the Landestheater Oberpfalz about the Catholic mystic Therese Neumann , known as Resl von Konnersreuth , which premiered in 2019 , Setzwein again addressed a phenomenon of spirituality and religious psychology after 2005 .

Autobiographical Notes

In the year-to-year collection of notes Das Blaue Tagwerk (2010) and Das Gelb Tagwerk (2020), Bernhard Setzwein provides insights into his literary thinking and work since 1997. A focus is on trips to former Eastern Bloc countries , stays on grants and encounters with Fellow writers and occupation with their works; In addition, hikes, everyday observations, language contemplations , dreams and flashes of thought, often with a bizarre and amusing note.

Journalistic work

Since the late 1980s, Setzwein has been a regular freelancer for the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation . For this he wrote a large number of audio images on mostly Bavarian cultural topics ( above all biographical, literature and language, cultural history, travel).

Put wine travel feuilletonistisches interest is expressed in a series of accompanying texts for picture books , which mostly deal with Bohemian landscapes and cities. Setzwein also writes articles for newspapers and magazines.

Scholarships and Awards



Audio books


  • Oskar Panizza plays with his nurse at the sanatorium Bruno Herzoghöhe the Last Judgment . World premiere : Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck / Meran , May 27, 2000.
  • The wall rattles, the flags are up . World premiere: Marstalltheater des Bayerischen Staatsschauspiels (as a staged reading by the winners of the one-act competition "Germany in the Third Millennium"), April 7, 2001.
  • Never thought. A piece of staying here and leaving . World premiere: Burgschauspielverein Freudenberg , June 27, 2003.
  • Watten Wagner Wichs . World premiere: Theater im Zunfthaus, Munich, February 6, 2004.
  • Sahira or Heinz von Stein's trip to the Orient . World premiere: Stein Castle near Altenmarkt / Chiemgau , May 29, 2004. - Print / online edition: Bernhard Setzwein's Sahira or Heinz vom Steins Fahrt ins Morgenland . Edited, commented on, explained and provided with material by Hans-Peter Ecker; University of Bamberg Press, Bamberg 2014, Volume 1 of the series "Bamberg Texts for Stage and Film", ISBN 978-3-86309-239-9 (print edition), eISBN 978-3-86309-240-5 (online edition) .
  • Foreign voices . World premiere: Burgschauspielverein Freudenberg, June 24, 2005 - Print / online edition: Bernhard Setzwein: Foreign Voices . Edited, commented on, explained and provided with material by Hans-Peter Ecker and Kirsta Viola Ecker; University of Bamberg Press, Bamberg 2015, Volume 2 of the series "Bamberg Texts for Stage and Film", ISBN 978-3-86309-308-2 (print edition), eISBN 978-3-86309-309-9 (online edition) .
  • 3165 - Monologue of an executioner . World premiere: Landestheater Oberpfalz , Weiden , December 7, 2007.
  • Hrabal and the man at the window . World premiere: Theater Regensburg , June 6, 2015. - Print / online edition: Bernhard Setzwein: HRABAL and the man at the window . Edited, commented on, explained and provided with material by Hans-Peter and Kirsta Viola Ecker; University of Bamberg Press, Bamberg 2015, Volume 3 of the series "Bamberg Texts for Stage and Film", ISBN 978-3-86309-365-5 (print edition), eISBN 978-3-86309-366-2 (online edition) .
  • Later visit. Dietrich Bonhoeffer redivivus . World premiere: Flossenbürg Concentration Camp Memorial , April 9, 2016 - Print / online edition: Later visit - Dietrich Bonhoeffer redivivus. Edited, commented on, explained and provided with material by Hans-Peter Ecker and Kirsta Viola Ecker; University of Bamberg Press, Bamberg 2017, Volume 6 of the series "Bamberg Texts for Stage and Film", ISBN 978-3-86309-509-3 (print edition), eISBN 978-3-86309-510-9 (online edition) .
  • Lola Montez. The wrong Spaniard . World premiere: Dagestein Castle, Vilseck, June 29, 2018.
  • Resl our. The piece to the film of the Konnersreuth mystery . World premiere: Weiden regional library , March 14, 2019.

Radio contributions

In addition to a large number of smaller radio programs for various cultural programs, Bernhard Setzwein worked on numerous topics in 30 or 60-minute features. Most of them are features on Bavarian literary and cultural history, travel articles and author portraits (the year numbers represent the respective first broadcast).

Text contributions to illustrated books

The illustrated books provided with texts by Setzwein have all been published by Buch- und Kunstverlag Oberpfalz (Amberg).

Foreign language editions

  • Mon oncle de Rosenheim . Editions Bérénice, Paris 2006, translation: Marc Bouvet (French edition by Watten Wagner Wichs ), ISBN 2-911232-56-9 .
  • Zelená panna . Barrister & Principal, Brno 2007 (Czech edition of The Green Maiden ), translation: Lenka Šedová, ISBN 978-80-7364-040-8 .
  • Păsările, de ce zboară. Poemes . Hestia, Timişoara 2008 (Romanian), translation: Eugen D. Popin, ISBN 978-973-105-062-1 .
  • Upper Palatinate. Impressions of a Landscape . 2008 (English edition of Weites Land, wide views. The Upper Palatinate ), translation: Philip Wade, ISBN 978-3-935719-51-3 .
  • 3165. Monologue d'un bourreau . Editions Bérénice, Paris 2009 (French edition of 3165. An executioner's monologue ), translation: Marc Bouvet, ISBN 978-2-911232-82-4 .

Collaboration on editions

  • With František Fabian, Josef Hruby (eds.): Between Radbuza and Regen. A Bavarian-Bohemian reader ( anthology ). Book and art publisher Oberpfalz, Amberg 1993.
  • With Edith Ecker, Karl Krieg (Hrsg.): Czech contemporary literature (anthology). With the collaboration of Václav Maidl and Marek Nekula. Issue 27–28 (= special issue) by Passauer Pegasus. Journal for Literature , 14th year, Karl Krieg, Passau 1996, ISSN  0724-0708 .

supporting documents

Secondary literature

  • Heinz Puknus: Bernhard Setzwein . In: Heinz Ludwig Arnold (ed.): Critical lexicon of contemporary German-language literature (loose-leaf collection). edition text + kritik, Munich, June 1995 (= 50th subsequent delivery), update: October 2001 (= 69th subsequent delivery).
  • Gerd Holzheimer : Wanderer man. Studies on the Poetics of Walking in Literature. Literature in Bayern Munich 1999, series “Kulturgeschichtliche Forschungen”, Volume 25, pp. 272–275, ISBN 3-9804213-5-X .
  • Thomas Kraft: Bernhard Setzwein . In: Hermann Kunisch (greeting), Thomas Kraft (Hrsg.): Lexicon of contemporary German-language literature since 1945 . Nymphenburger Verlagbuchhandlung, Munich 2003, Volume 2, pp. 1174–1176, ISBN 3-485-00989-X .
  • Hermann Unterstöger : literary man of the peripheral Bavaria. Bernhard Setzwein sees himself as the builder of a constantly growing universal Sendlikon - recently Hlavanice has also been part of Sendling . In: Robert Roßmann, Hans Kratzer (Ed.): Stadt, Land, Wort. Bavaria's writers. 22 portraits . SüdOst Verlag, Waldkirchen 2004, pp. 13-16, ISBN 3-89682-088-5 .
  • Heinz Puknus: Bernhard Setzwein. Literary forensics . In: Alfons Schweiggert , Hannes S. Macher (Hrsg.): Authors in Bavaria. 20th century . Verlagsanstalt Bayerland, Dachau 2004, p. 391 f, ISBN 3-89251-340-6 .
  • Jürgen Rolf Hansen: ... and Sisyphus laughed. Literary rendezvous in the land of the five lakes . Friedl-Brehm-Verlag, Feldafing 2004, pp. 273-282, ISBN 3-937165-02-9 .
  • Hans-Peter Ecker: Setzwein, Bernhard . In: Wilhelm Kühlmann (Ed.): Killy Literature Lexicon . Authors and works from the German-speaking cultural area . 2nd, completely revised edition, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2011, Volume 10 Ros – Se, pp. 768 f., ISBN 978-3-11-022042-1 .

Web links

Commons : Bernhard Setzwein  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Internet presence of the Sudeten German Academy of Sciences and Arts: Members ( Memento of the original from August 3, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. the class of arts and art studies. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ^ Literature archive Sulzbach-Rosenberg e. V .: Vorlass Bernhard Setzwein Retrieved on February 18, 2018.
  3. E.g. Uwe Schütte: Lonely and cold. Bernhard Setzwein's Nietzsche novel (review). In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , 6./7. May 2000. - Ralf Konersmann : Slapstick in the Engadine. Sad, funny: Bernhard Setzwein's novel about Nietzsche (review). In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , June 5, 2000. - Klaus Huebner: Seven summers in Sils-Maria. Bernhard Setzwein dares Nietzsche and wins (review). In: Swiss monthly books , Zurich, July 2000, issue 7/8, pp. 47–49. - Without a statement of responsibility: Dive into a final dream. Current books between service and Nietzsche mission (review). In: Der Standard , Vienna, August 26, 2000, p. 3 of the supplement Album .
  4. E.g. Olaf Przybilla : The question of evil (review). In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . June 24, 2005. - Elmar Kellner: No light fare, but served brilliantly (review). In: Franconian news . June 27, 2005
  5. Bamberg Poetics Professorship
  6. ^ Culture prizes of the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft and the Free State of Bavaria on the occasion of the 64th Sudeten German Day in Augsburg on May 18th and 19th . ( Memento of the original from February 17, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 84 kB) In: Press release of the Sudetendeutschen Landsmannschaft from May 3, 2013. Accessed on May 21, 2013.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. ^ Adalbert Stifter Scholarship
  8. ^ Czech Cultural Year> Resident Authors> Bernhard Setzwein
  9. editorial Onetz: A deep psychological study. In: . November 23, 2007, accessed on December 5, 2018 (interview with the author - it's about the last Bavarian executioner Johann Reichhart ).


  1. The Polish, Hungarian and Bulgarian translations are individual texts, sometimes just poems, that have appeared in magazines or anthologies in the respective countries.
  2. The volume is a selection of poems made by the translator, most of which come from various Setzwein's books. It also contains a few new, previously unpublished poems that are currently (2011) only available in Romanian.