Critical lexicon for contemporary foreign language literature

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The Critical Lexicon for Contemporary Foreign Language Literature (KLfG) is one of the most important literary lexicons in German. It is a as a loose-leaf -scale reference book with information on outstanding contemporary writers and writers of world literature that shape their respective linguistic and cultural region decisively and whose works are present in significant parts in German translation.


Heinz Ludwig Arnold founded the Critical Lexicon for Contemporary Foreign Language Literature (KLfG) in 1983 and published it until 2008. Since 2011 Sebastian Domsch , Annegret Heitmann , Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit , Wolfgang Kissel , Thomas Klinkert , Yvonne Pörzgen and Barbara Winckler have been the editors. Sebastian Domsch publishes articles on English, Annegret Heitmann on Scandinavian, Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit on Japanese, Wolfgang Kissel on Slavic, Thomas Klinkert on Romance and Barbara Winckler on Semitic and Arabic literature. Andreas Wirthensohn is responsible for the general editing . The work is published by edition text + kritik , now comprises around 16,400 pages in 14 folders and is continuously updated and supplemented. The KLfG is available online for a fee, the beginning of the article is free.

Structure and focus

They are sorted according to the alphabetical order of the authors. The articles are divided into a biogram, essay and bibliography. The biograms give an overview of the authors' lives and literary awards. In detailed essays, the individual works of the respective writers are analyzed and evaluated in terms of their work context and poetological foundations. The extensive bibliographic information lists all original editions and all translations into German as well as the most important secondary literature. The currently 650 or so articles are based on the original language work and reflect the respective cultural and social background of the writer. In addition, introductory essays on the literature of individual countries provide an overview of the history of world literature in the 20th and 21st centuries.


“Today's world literature (that is, the non-German language of all cultures and continents) is [...] nowhere more thoroughly and more up-to-date than in the› Critical Lexicon of Foreign-Language Contemporary Literature ‹."  Hessische Allgemeine

Edition and review

  • Sebastian Domsch, Annegret Heitmann, Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit, Wolfgang Kissel, Thomas Klinkert, Barbara Winckler (eds.): Critical lexicon on contemporary foreign language literature (KLfG) . Founded by Heinz Ludiwig Arnold. edition text + criticism. Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-86916-220-1 (basic work including the 88th subsequent delivery).
  • Maria Ebert: Never before have there been more lexicons on literature. In: buchreport.magazin. January 2009, accessed July 12, 2012, pp. 54–57.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Cultural Studies • Critical Lexicon for Contemporary Foreign Language Literature (KLfG) | edition text + criticism. Retrieved January 4, 2018 .