Helmut Arntzen

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Helmut Arntzen (born January 10, 1931 in Duisburg ; † November 26, 2014 in Senden (Westphalia) ) was a German literary scholar , essayist , aphorist and fable author .


Arntzen studied German , history, philosophy and art history at the universities of Heidelberg, Freiburg and Cologne. In 1957 Arntzen received his doctorate from the University of Cologne . A year later he passed the exam as a qualified librarian in Cologne. He followed his teacher Wilhelm Emrich as a research assistant and lecturer at the Free University of Berlin in 1959 . At times Arntzen was a representative of a professorship at the Church University of Berlin and lecturer for university courses at the Free University of Berlin. In 1966/67 he received a habilitation grant from the DFG. In 1967 he completed his habilitation . Then Arntzen (civil servant) became a private lecturer at the Free University of Berlin. In 1967 he was a deputy professor at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster . From 1968 until his retirement on February 29, 1996, Arntzen was full professor for new German literature and director of the German Institute.

Arntzen was visiting professor at Ain Shams University in Cairo (1982), as Max Kade Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas , Lawrence (1987), at Al-Azhar-Univ. Cairo with a summer course in Alexandria (1990), at the Hebrew University Jerusalem (1994/95). He went on lecture tours through Portugal, Austria, USA, Italy and gave numerous individual lectures at home and abroad. In addition to positions in academic self-administration (dean, senate, convention), Arntzen was also a member of the study reform commission for linguistic and literary studies of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

He received the Musil medal from the city of Klagenfurt , was elected a member of the PEN in 1971 and received a research grant from the VW Foundation . In addition, Arntzen was Scientific Director of summer courses at the University of Münster and Scientific Advisory Board for German Studies in Cairo.


  • Satirical style. On Robert Musil's satire in "Man without Qualities" . Bonn 1960. 3rd edition 1983.
  • The modern German novel. Requirements, structures, salaries . Heidelberg 1962.
  • Against newspaper. German satire of the 20th century . Edited by HA Heidelberg 1964.
  • Short process. Aphorisms and fables . Munich 1966.
  • The serious comedy. The German comedy from Lessing to Kleist . Munich 1968.
  • Literature in the Information Age. Articles, essays, glosses . Frankfurt / M. 1971.
  • Karl Kraus and the press . Munich 1975.
  • "Der Spiegel" 28 (1972). Analysis, interpretation, criticism. Edited by HA u. Winfried Nolting. Munich 1977.
  • Musil commentary on all writings published during his lifetime except for the novel "The Man Without Qualities" . Munich 1980.
  • Musil commentary on the novel "The Man Without Qualities" . Munich 1982.
  • To come up for discussion. Studies on literature and language reflection, German literature and language use . Münster 1983.
  • The concept of literature. History, complementary terms, intention. An introduction . Munster 1984.
  • Ernst master. Homage, reflections on the work, texts from the estate . from HA and JPWallmann. Münster 1985. 2nd edition 1987.
  • Comedy language. Contributions to the German comedy between the 17th and 20th centuries. With an appendix on literary didactics of comedy . HAMünster 1988.
  • Satire in German Literature. History and theory. Volume 1: From the 12th to the 17th century. Darmstadt 1989.
  • Use of metaphors. Linguistic and hermeneutic analyzes of literary and discursive texts . Edited by HA and F.Hundsnurscher. Münster etc. 1993.
  • Origin of the present. On the history of consciousness in Germany in the 1930s . With contributions by Th.Althaus, E. Czucka, W.Golisch, E. Krückeberg, B.Spinnen u. G.Th.Tewilt. Weinheim 1995.
  • Nonsense and sense of German studies . Weinheim 1996.
  • Germany, one winter -. Experiences and reflections from a damaged area . Münster etc. 2000.
  • Dispute between the faculties. New aphorisms and fables . Munster 2000.
  • Literature as language. Articles and essays, ed. by Robert M. Solis. Lublin 2007.
  • Language, literature and literary studies, media. Contributions to language thinking and language criticism . Frankfurt / M., Berlin, Bern etc. 2009.
  • Karl Kraus. Contributions 1980-2010 . Frankfurt / M., Berlin, Bern etc. 2011.

In total he wrote over 130 essays, articles and essays by a. on language thinking, literary theory, language and media criticism, satire, comedy, Robert Musil, Karl Kraus, Lichtenberg, Kleist, Sternheim, Horváth, Ernst Meister, Kempowski.

Editions v. a. the series "Komedia. German Comedy Plays from the Baroque to the Present. Texts and Materials" (with Karl Pestalozzi), 17 volumes; "Literature as Language. Literary Theory, Interpretation, Language Criticism", 17 volumes; Online magazine "On the State of the Nation. Comments on Language, Literature, Culture, Politics and the Media in Germany", Numbers 1 - 27 m. Register.

Founding of the Münster literary circle (mJPWallmann) in 1977, the Friday Society at the Univ. Münster (m. R. Tölle) 1991.


  • R. Dithmar: The fable, history, structure, didactics . Paderborn 1971.
  • V. Ladenthin: Modern literature and education. To determine the specific educational contribution of modern literature . 5th chapter. Hildesheim 1991.
  • Linguistics. On the subject and the writings of Helmut Arntzen. Lectures and appreciations . Edited by Th. Althaus. Frankfurt / M. u. a. 1999. (With a list of publications.)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Helmut Arntzen. In: Kürschner's German Literature Calendar 2014/2015: Volume I: AO. Volume II: PZ. , Walter De Gruyter Incorporated, 2014, p. 25, ISBN 978-3-11-033720-4 .
  2. ^ Letter (PDF file; 825 kB) to Elazar Benyoëtz dated March 3, 1996