Dieter E. Zimmer

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Dieter Eduard Zimmer (born November 24, 1934 in Berlin-Pankow ; † June 19, 2020 in Berlin) was a German journalist , author and translator .


After graduating from high school, Zimmer studied literature and linguistics as well as English in Berlin and later in Geneva and the USA . From 1959 he lived in Hamburg , where he was editor of the weekly newspaper Die Zeit for a long time , and from 1973 to 1977 her column editor . From 2000 Zimmer worked as a freelance writer, literary critic , translator and publicist in Berlin. He has published books and magazine articles on questions of psychology , biology , anthropology , medicine , linguistics , communication science and librarianship . From 1989 Zimmer was editor of the German complete edition of Vladimir Nabokov's writings. Marcel Reich-Ranicki wrote about Zimmer's importance as Nabokov's translator :

“What he has achieved in this regard as a translator, editor and bibliographer is so enormous and so exceptional that it may seem presumptuous to consider his work with the usual laudatory sentences. Just this much: we owe him more than most German poets and novelists of our day. Why do we actually have the many literary prizes that are so gladly awarded to those who have already been awarded ten times? "

As a translator, Zimmer has translated works by Nabokov, James Joyce , Edward Gorey , Nathanael West , Ambrose Bierce and Jorge Luis Borges into German.

In books and essays from the early 1970s he dealt with intelligence research and above all with the question of whether intelligence is hereditary. He took the nativistic point of view that the intelligence quotient is hereditary to a high degree. Rooms also wrote about Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis , focused on the cages of chickens and published books of language change such as idioms , Thus man comes up and the word magnifying glass .

In a laudation on his 80th birthday, Josef Joffe praised Zimmer's intellectual “incorruptibility”, his “concise and clear language”, with which he succeeded in making even complex issues understandable, and his extensive knowledge of why he was called a “ Renaissance person” “Could call.

Dieter E. Zimmer died in Berlin in June 2020 at the age of 85.

honors and awards


  • Vladimir Nabokov - bibliography of the complete works. 1963/64.
  • A medium is born. 1970.
  • The dispute over intelligence. 1975.
  • I'd rather not, said Bartleby. 1978.
  • Our first nature. 1979.
  • The myth of equality. 1980. ( preface )
  • The reason of the feelings. 1981.
  • Chickens - Animals or Protein Machines? Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1983, ISBN 978-3-499-17748-4 .
  • Sleep and dream. 1984.
  • Types of speech. About trends and madnesses in the new German language. Haffmans, Zurich 1986, ISBN 3-251-00071-3 , 220 pp.
  • This is how man comes up. About language acquisition, language genesis and language & thinking. Haffmans, Zurich 1986, ISBN 3-251-00072-1 , 201 pages, paperback edition Heyne non-fiction book No. 19/310, Heyne, Munich 1994 ff., ISBN 3-453-07812-8 , 203 pages
  • Deep dizziness - The endless and beendbare psychoanalysis. 1986.
  • Experiments of life. 1989.
  • The electrification of language. 1991.
  • German and different - the language in modernization fever. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1998 ff., ISBN 3-499-60525-2 , 382 pages (rororo; 60525, rororo non-fiction book).
  • The library of the future. Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 2000. Revised paperback edition: Ullstein, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-548-36283-4 , 394 pp.
  • A Guide to Nabokov's Butterflies and Moths. Selbstverlag, Hamburg 2001/03, ISBN 3-00-007609-3 , 388 S. Text, 21 color plates. ( Web edition .)
  • Language in times of incorrigibility. Hoffmann and Campe Verlag, Hamburg 2005, ISBN 3-455-09495-3 , 368 pp.
  • Nabokov travels in a dream to the interior of Asia. Collaboration with Sabine Hartmann, Rowohlt, Reinbek 2006, ISBN 3-498-07663-9 , 320 pp., Ill., Map.
  • The word magnifier - observations on contemporary German. Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 2006, ISBN 3-455-09531-3 , 224 pp.
  • Cyclone Lolita - information about an epoch-making novel. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 2008, ISBN 3-498-07666-3 , 224 pp.
  • Is Intelligence Hereditary? A clarification. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 2012, ISBN 3-498-07667-1 , 320 pp.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Willi Winkler : "Dieter E. Zimmer died" , Süddeutsche Zeitung of June 28, 2020
  2. ^ Süddeutsche Zeitung: Publicist Dieter E. Zimmer died at the age of 85. Retrieved July 4, 2020 .
  3. Marcel Reich-Ranicki: Vladimir Nabokov - essays. Ammann Verlag & Co, Zurich 1995. ISBN 3-250-10277-6 . P. 76
  4. List of translations on Zimmer's website, accessed on September 30, 2013.
  5. Dieter E. Zimmer: Is intelligence hereditary? A clarification. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2012, Chapter 1.
  6. Josef Joffe : The Renaissance man. Dieter E. Zimmer on his 80th birthday. Die Zeit, November 27, 2014, No. 49
  7. Markus Ehrenberg: Dieter E. Zimmer died at the age of 85 ,, published and accessed on June 29, 2020.
  8. Honorary doctoral students of the TH / TU Dresden. Technical University of Dresden, accessed on January 25, 2015 .
  9. Review in the ZEIT