Gustav René Hocke

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Gustav René Hocke (born March 1, 1908 in Brussels ; † July 14, 1985 in Genzano di Roma ) was a German journalist , writer and cultural historian .


Hocke was born in Brussels on 1908 as the son of the German businessman Josef Hocke and his wife Anna de Nève. In 1919 the family moved to Viersen ; Hocke attended the humanistic grammar school there . His classmate and friend was Adolf Frisé . As a student he wrote an open letter to Alfred Döblin , in which he described the disorientation and the difficulty of young people in breaking away from fixed institutions, similar to previous generations. Döblin responded with his writing Knowledge and Change! Open letters to a young person . He studied literature in Berlin, Bonn and Paris - especially with Ernst Robert Curtius - and received his doctorate in 1934 . In 1937 he married Mary Turner; their son Martin was born in 1937 († 2005).

He first worked as a journalist for the Kölnische Zeitung , which, according to Luise Rinser, was a “nest of passive resistance” during the Nazi dictatorship . In 1940 this newspaper sent him to Rome as a correspondent , where he also worked on his novel The Dancing God - a parable on life under the Nazi dictatorship. After the end of the war, Hocke was interned in a POW camp in the USA. Back in Germany in 1946, he and Hans Werner Richter and Alfred Andersch helped found the literary magazine Der Ruf .

In 1949 he returned to Rome as the first German correspondent for Italy for various German newspapers and magazines. In 1951 he married Edeltraud Effenberger; they had a son, Roman (1953), and a daughter, Angelika (1956). From 1975 he worked entirely as a freelance writer. In 1985, after a long and serious illness, he died at his residence south of Rome.

Mannerism became the focus of his literary interest . Hocke's term, which was broad in time, also included modern artists such as Fabius von Gugel or Fabrizio Clerici . He made a distinction between the art-historical epoch and a mannerism as an attitude towards life: as a grotesque "expressive gesture" of the "problematic person", which occurs in most cultural-historical epochs as a reaction to the clear forms of a "classic" episode.

Awards and honors



  • Lucretius in France from the Renaissance to the Revolution . Phil. Diss. Bonn 1934
  • The missing face. An adventure in Italy . Rauch, Leipzig 1939
  • The dancing god . Novel. Nymphenburger, Munich 1948
  • Changes in the European Ars Sacra / To the exhibitions christl. Art in the mission countries a. contemporary Christian art in Rome . In: THE MÜNSTER. No. 1-2 / 1951, S50-55. Schnell + Steiner GmbH publishing house, Regensburg 1951
  • The world as a labyrinth. Manner and mania in European art. Contributions to the iconography and formal history of European art from 1520 to 1650 and the present . Rowohlt (rde 50/51), Hamburg 1957
    • extended new edition as: The world as a labyrinth. Mannerism in European Art and Literature . Rowohlt, Reinbek 1987
  • Mannerism in literature. Language alchemy and esoteric combination art . Rowohlt (rde 82/83), Hamburg 1959
  • Magna Graecia. Hikes through the Greek lower Italy . Erdmann, Herrenalb / Berlin 1960
  • The European diary . Limes, Wiesbaden 1963
  • Despair and confidence. On art and literature at the end of our century . Piper (sp 112), Munich 1974
  • Contemporary painting. Neo Mannerism. From surrealism to meditation . Limes, Wiesbaden 1975
  • Writer and painter Joachim Fernau . His pictorial work . Limes, Wiesbaden 1976
  • Ship of fools in the labyrinth. On the work of the painter Werner Holz and the turn of the seventies in the history of ideas . KVHS Gallery, Ludwigshafen 1979
  • Fantastic longing. On the artistic work of the Angerer brothers (on Ludwig Valentin and Walter Andreas Angerer ). Bruckmann, Munich 1981

Published posthumously :

  • The world as a labyrinth. Mannerism in European Art and Literature . Revised and expanded edition, one-time special edition, edited by Curt Grützmacher . Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek near Hamburg 1991, ISBN 3-498-09184-0 .
  • In the shadow of the Leviathan. Memoirs of life 1908–1984 . Edited and commented by Detlef Haberland . Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-422-06428-1


  • The French spirit. The masters of the essay from Montaigne to the present . Rauch, Leipzig 1938
    • Reissued as: The French Spirit. The masters of the essay from Montaigne to Giraudoux . Diogenes (detebe 21634), Zurich 1988
  • European artist letters. Confessions to the Spirit . Rauch, Leipzig 1938
  • German satires of the 18th century . Rauch, Dessau 1940
  • The European diary . Limes, Wiesbaden 1963
    • New edition as: European diaries from four centuries. Motifs and anthology . Limes, Wiesbaden / Munich 1986; Fischer paperback, Frankfurt am Main 1991


  • Jutta Busch (Ed.): Homage to Gustav René Hocke. The world as a labyrinth . Eckers, Viersen 1989
  • Hans Mayer : Memory of Gustav René Hocke , in ders., Zeitgenossen , Frankfurt am Main 1999, pp. 260–268.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Homage to Gustav René Hocke. The world as a labyrinth . Viersen 1989, p. 16
  2. Gustav René Hocke: In the shadow of the Leviathan. Memoirs 1908-1984 . Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich a. Berlin, 2004, p. 72.
  3. 1953-1989 sponsorship awards, honorary gifts  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (accessed April 4, 2015)@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  4. List of winners of the Medal of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria . Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  5. Announcement of awards of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In: Federal Gazette . Vol. 25, No. 103, June 5, 1973.