Christoph Meckel

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Christoph Meckel (1974)
Signature Christoph Meckel

Christoph Meckel (born June 12, 1935 in Berlin ; † January 29, 2020 in Freiburg im Breisgau ) was a German writer and graphic artist .


Christoph Meckel, son of the writer Eberhard Meckel and grandson of the architect Carl Anton Meckel , spent childhood and youth in Berlin, Erfurt and Freiburg im Breisgau , where he attended grammar school up to subprima . In 1954/55 he studied graphics at the Art Academy in Freiburg im Breisgau , and in 1956 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich . Since 1956 he worked as a writer and graphic artist. He traveled extensively through Europe, Africa and America and lived in Ötlingen in the Markgräflerland , in Berlin, in southern France, in Tuscany and most recently again in Freiburg im Breisgau, where he died in January 2020 at the age of 84.

Meckel was a member of the PEN Center of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Academy of Sciences and Literature and the German Academy for Language and Poetry .


Meckel's biographical data are part of his artistic work. In 1992, in a report on the making of a world comedy , he claimed that the writer Christoph Meckel had a different biography than the graphic artist. The confrontation with his father and his generation during National Socialism and the war shaped Meckel and is most evident in the work Suchbild. About my father (1980). 22 years later, he dealt just as intensively in Suchbild: Meine Mutter (2002) with his mother, whom he felt unloved all his life and whom he accused of intellectual tightness and frigidity .

As a poet, Meckel published almost exclusively in small editions and often in bibliophile prints. On his 80th birthday, his collected poems were published by Hanser under the title Tarnkappe 2015 , edited by Wolfgang Matz . Michael Krüger described the edition as a "life novel in verse" which "shows a productive, artistic poet who knows how to praise and unmask the comedy of the world in ever new attempts".

Meckel's graphic work revolves around world comedy : in twelve cycles, started as a young man and continued until 1993, Meckel guides his protagonist through life and the world, time and space. The sheets were made by Meckel himself as hand prints in editions of usually only around five copies; only individual cycles were exhibited; originally only the Passage cycle was published as a book.

“It happens, usually at night, that I look for papers in drawers and cupboards and find pictures that I no longer know about. So I discovered a whole cycle - O Babylon! -, drawn, laid, forgotten 30 years ago. These are the illustrator's good moments after the comedy is over. "

His graphic work has been shown in numerous exhibitions, for example in 1987 in the Städtische Galerie im Park Viersen and in 2008 at the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in the Munich Residence . In addition, Meckel illustrated a large number of books, including the 1974 Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the Gutenberg Book Guild .

In 2011 the catalog raisonné of his graphic oeuvre appeared in two volumes under the title Die Weltkomödie . The autobiographical and theoretical speech that Meckel gave in 2008 at the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts is printed as an introduction.

Posthumously published in March 2020 under the title Eine Tür aus Glas, wide open a selection of his prose works still authorized by Meckel.

honors and awards


Books (selection)

  • Magic hat. Poems. Munich 1956.
  • Foghorns. Stuttgart 1959.
  • Manifesto of the Dead. Bull town in the Taunus 1960.
  • In the land of the umbra. DVA, Stuttgart 1961.
  • Dark summer and funny bones. Berlin 1964.
  • In the ink. Poems. Berlin 1968.
  • Selection of works. Poetry, prose, radio play. Nymphenburger, Munich 1971; 2nd ed. 1981, ISBN 3-485-00289-5 .
  • Fenugreek . Nymphenburger, Munich 1973 - ( filmed in 1984 under the same name ); 1975 for soc. Länder Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin and Weimar
  • Light. Nymphenburger, Munich 1978.
  • Selected poems. Königstein im Taunus 1979.
  • Search image. About my father. Autobiographical prose piece. Düsseldorf 1980.
  • About Peter Stephan. Munich 1980.
  • Message for Baratynski. Munich 1981.
  • The real Muftoni. Narrative. Munich 1982.
  • A hundred poems. Munich 1988.
  • I keep dreaming books. Warmbronn 1995.
  • An unknown person. Report. Munich 1997.
  • Schöllkopf. Warmbronn 2000.
  • Teeth. Poems. Munich 2000.
  • Blood in the shoe. Poems. To Klampen, Lüneburg 2001, ISBN 3-933156-61-0 .
  • Night stays outside and drinks rain. Passau 2002.
  • Search picture: my mother. Novel. Munich 2002.
  • Roughly no death in the shade of the trees. Munich 2003.
  • Soul of the knife. Poems. Edition Lyrik Kabinett , Munich 2006.
  • Music ship. Frauenfeld 2006.
  • There is something about the guys. Art figures, lovely mountains. Lyrik Kabinett, Munich 2007.
  • Well to those who lived. Memory of Marie-Luise Kaschnitz . Lengwil 2008.
  • Night season. Munich 2008.
  • Gold is washed here. Memory of Peter Huchel . Lengwil 2009.
  • Poetry album 288. Märkischer Verlag Wilhelmshorst 2010.
  • Russian zone. Remembering the post war. Lengwil 2011.
  • Luis & Luis. Munich 2012.
  • Dark part of the world. Remembering African times. Lengwil 2013.
  • Magic hat. Collected poems. Edited by Wolfgang Matz . Munich 2015.
  • for clarisse. poems and etchings. row of letters, vol. 03. Frankfurt am Main 2015.
  • Back to school. Texts and pictures. Mönchengladbach 2016, ISBN 3-930509-80-6 .
  • No beginning and no end. Munich 2017, ISBN 978-3-446-25721-4 .
  • picture post. 100 letters and postcards from six decades. Edited by Martina Hanf. series A4 +, vol. 26. Frankfurt am Main 2018.
  • A glass door, wide open. Collected prose . Edited by Wolfgang Matz. Munich 2020, ISBN 978-3-446-26568-4 .

Exhibition catalogs

  • Etchings, woodcuts, drawings, graphic cycles, books. Munich 1965.
  • Hand drawings, etchings, books. Munich 1971.
  • The graphic work of Christoph Meckel. Austin (Texas) 1973.
  • Pictures, graphics. Hamburg 1976.
  • with Christopher Middleton : picture books 1968/1978. Berlin 1979
  • Drawings, etchings. Reutlingen 1984.
  • Pictures, books, picture books. Bamberg 1986.
  • Drawings, pictures, etchings. Freiburg im Breisgau 1987.
  • Drawings and graphics. Bergisch Gladbach 1987.
  • Christoph Meckel. Frankfurt am Main 1988.
  • Etchings. Freiburg im Breisgau 1990.
  • Manuscript pictures 1962–1992. Freiburg im Breisgau 1992.
  • New drawings and graphics. Saarbrücken 1997.
  • Beginning of summer. Troisdorf 2001.
  • Passage - A cycle of the "world comedy". Erata, Leipzig 2006, ISBN 3-934015-90-5 .
  • Pictures of a poet. Christoph Meckel. Edited by Jürgen Fitschen. Exhibition cat. Schleswig-Holstein State Museums Foundation Gottorf Castle, Cismar Monastery 2010, ISBN 978-3-00-031833-7 .

Catalog raisonné for the Meckel Collection

  • The world comedy. Catalog raisonné of the prints. 2 vols. Modo Verlag, Freiburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-86833074-8 .


  • Georg Heym : Poems. Frankfurt am Main 1968.
  • Yearbook of Poetry - The Toothless Struck Word. Düsseldorf 1980
  • Four days in May. Waldkirch 1989.
  • Everything else is written. Kiel 1993.
  • The bird rises up like a little smoke. Goettingen 1995.




  • Uwe-Michael Gutzschhahn : prose and poetry by Christoph Meckels. Oberbaum, Berlin 1979, ISBN 3-87628-200-4 .
  • Wolfgang F. Schwarz: Biographical writing and literary editing: Christoph Meckel's Baratynskij reception (with a typological outlook on Jurij Tynjanov and Sergej Tret'jakov). In: Germano-Slavica (A Canadian journal of Germanic and Slavic comparative studies) , vol. IV, no. 5, 1984, pp. 231-249.
  • Albert Baumgarten, Helene Harth (ed.): Encounters with Christoph Meckel. Baumgarten Gallery, Freiburg im Breisgau 1985, ISBN 3-925223-01-0 .
  • Ute M. Koch: Literary biography and contemporary history: Christoph Meckel's "Suchbild - about my father." Master's thesis. Erlangen 1986.
  • Franz Loquai (Ed.): Christoph Meckel. Edition Isele, Eggingen 1993, ISBN 3-925016-97-X .
  • Wulf Segebrecht : Christoph Meckels books. A bibliographic directory. Bamberg 1995; 2nd supplement A. 2000, ISBN 3-935167-00-8 . (= Footnotes to literature, issue 33)
  • Waldemar Weber: Life-giving pain: Laudation to Christoph Meckel on the occasion of the award of the Joseph Breitbach Prize 2003. In: New German Literature. 52/1, Hamburg 2004, pp. 147–152.
  • Theo Rommerskirchen: Christoph Meckel. In: Viva signature si! Remagen-Rolandseck 2005, ISBN 3-926943-85-8 .
  • Winand Herzog: The dream came about under pressure. An accompanying essay on the 60th anniversary of Christoph Meckel's publication. edition paroikia, Mönchengladbach 2016, ISBN 3-930509-81-4 .


  • 1971/1972: Christoph Meckel. Production by Norddeutscher Rundfunk / TV (12 minutes). Script and direction: Klaus Peter Dencker.

Web links

Commons : Christoph Meckel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Poet and graphic artist: Christoph Meckel is dead. In: Spiegel Online . January 30, 2020, accessed January 30, 2020 .
  2. Christoph Meckel: Writer and graphic artist died at the age of 84. In: Stuttgarter Zeitung. January 30, 2020, accessed January 30, 2020 .
  3. Poetry Recommendations 2015. German Academy for Language and Poetry, March 9, 2015, accessed on January 30, 2020 .
  4. Christoph Meckel: Passage - A cycle of world comedy. Edition Erata, Leipzig 2006, ISBN 3-934015-90-5 , p. 6.
  5. Program for June and July 2008. Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, archived from the original on September 3, 2014 ; accessed on January 30, 2020 .
  6. Antiquarian Prize 2020 to Christoph Meckel. In: . November 17, 2019, accessed November 18, 2019 .