Michael Köhlmeier

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Michael Köhlmeier (2017)

Michael Johannes Maria Köhlmeier (born October 15, 1949 in Hard , Vorarlberg ) is an Austrian writer .

life and work

Michael Köhlmeier is the second child of the journalist Wise Köhlmeier and his wife Paula Köhlmeier, geb. Expert.

From 1963 to 1970 he attended the humanistic grammar school in Feldkirch , from 1970 to 1976 Michael Köhlmeier studied political science and German in Marburg an der Lahn. In 1976 he completed his studies with the first state examination and a thesis on Austrofascism . From 1977 to 1980 he did a second degree in mathematics and philosophy in Giessen .

From the beginning of the 1970s, he became known as a writer with radio plays on Austrian radio ( Like Bob Dylan , Drei im Café play , The hearing process ) and with shorter prose texts (first award: Rauris Promotion Prize for Literature 1974). In 1972 he founded the duo Bilgeri & Köhlmeier together with the musician Reinhold Bilgeri . The duo achieved success in Austria in 1973 with the song Oho Vorarlberg . The duo was very successful - each took 30,000 schillings per performance.

An extensive work of novels has been created since the early 1980s, alongside a large number of shorter texts and columnist articles. Some of his novels have also appeared as audio books , including Madalyn , spoken by Jürgen Uter , and on the phone at one in the night , spoken by Köhlmeier himself and placed on the hr2 audio book best list .

His free retellings of ancient myths and biblical stories , which were later also published in CD editions and as books, were broadcast by the radio station Ö1 . From 2007 on, the 80-part series Mythen - Michael Köhlmeier tells sagas of classical antiquity was broadcast on BR-alpha , in which he freely retells Greek sagas . Also in 2007, the 42 episode series Köhlmeier's fairy tales with free retellings of well-known but also rarely printed fairy tales was shown on the same television station . Köhlmeier dedicated a book entitled "Von den Märchen: Eine Lifelong Liebe", published in 2018, to his fascination for the mysterious genre of fairy tales. In an interview with Haymon Verlag, the writer emphasizes the relevance and importance of fairy tales: "I think I am of the opinion that at the core of every good story, every good story, whether it is a novel or a historical story is - every historical story is prepared for us, the story is only history when it is told - at the core of every story there is a fairy tale. I am convinced of that . "

His works were u. a. Translated into English , French , Greek , Korean , Romanian , Slovenian , Spanish and Turkish .

Since 2004 he has been writing lyrics in Vorarlberg dialect for the Schellinski group . From 2007 to 2012 he regularly moderated the discussion program Club 2 on ORF 2 .

Michael Köhlmeier and the writer Monika Helfer married in 1981 and they have four children. The daughter Paula Köhlmeier had a fatal accident in 2003 at the age of 21. Köhlmeier worked on her death in the story Idylle mit drowning dog , published in 2008 .

Köhlmeier regularly takes a stand on political issues. In 2014, for example, he reported the then FPÖ MEP Andreas Mölzer for hate speech. In 2018, he made headlines when he violently attacked the ruling FPÖ for dealing with anti-Semitism in parliament as part of an act in memory of persecuted Jews . Köhlmeier criticized the FPÖ for making “almost every week that played down Nazi or anti-Semitic or racist reports” and for misusing the name of George Soros for conspiracy theories and online clicks. With the statement "Even then there were people who boasted that they had closed escape routes", Köhlmeier made a reference to the behavior of European states and the USA in view of the increasing refugee flows after the annexation of Austria and the Munich conference . Köhlmeier appealed to Austrian civil society not to justify anti-Islamism with philosemitism . While the FPÖ and ÖVP reacted angrily to the speech, Köhlmeier received recognition from the SPÖ and the Greens.

In 2019, the novel On the Walls of Paradise by Martin Schneitewind was published by dtv , allegedly translated from French by Raoul Schrott . According to Köhlmeier, Schneitewind's widow gave him the manuscript for publication. Research by the NDR shows that it is rather unlikely that Martin Schneitewind, who was never noticed in literary terms, ever existed, even if the book contains 28 pages on his vita. Reviewers rated this as part of the novel playing with fiction and reality.

Michael Köhlmeier lives as a freelance writer in Hohenems and Vienna . In an interview with the Salzburger Nachrichten he had never seen life in the provinces as a problem, following the statement that he was working away from the major literary centers: “In the age of information overload, in the century of mass communication, the term province does not exist more like in the 19th century. If I want to take a look at the Ringstrasse, I'll just go to Vienna. "

Awards and honors

Works (excerpt)



Radio plays

Audio books

  • Your room to me alone. Voiced by Michael Köhlmeier. Geco Tonwaren , Vienna no year (2 CDs / 2 MCs)
  • Calypso (unabridged). Voiced by Michael Köhlmeier. Steinbach speaking books , Schwäbisch Hall 1998, ISBN 3-88698-454-0 (11 CDs, 800 min.)
  • The Nibelung tells of Michael Köhlmeier. Spoken by Michael Köhlmeier, ORF Shop Vertrieb, Vienna 2002 (2 CDs)
  • The Nibelungs . Spoken by Henning Venske, Audiolino , Hamburg 2005, ISBN 3-938482-26-5 .
  • On the phone at one at night. Voiced by Michael Köhlmeier. Jumbo Neue Medien & Verlag , Hamburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-8337-1782-6 .
  • Occident. Voiced by Jürgen Uter . Jumbo Neue Medien & Verlag, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-8337-2122-9 .
  • Idyll with a drowning dog. Voiced by Michael Köhlmeier. Jumbo Neue Medien & Verlag, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-8337-2256-1 .
  • Ursula Wölfel : Flying Star. Voiced by Michael Köhlmeier. The Audio Verlag (DAV) , Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-89813-712-6 (1 CD, 54 min.).
  • How the pig went to the dance. A fable. Voiced by Michael Köhlmeier. Jumbo Neue Medien & Verlag, Hamburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-8337-2469-5 .
  • Madalyn. Voiced by Jürgen Uter. Jumbo Neue Medien & Verlag, Hamburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-8337-2647-7 .
  • Michael Köhlmeier's fairy tale world. Voiced by Michael Köhlmeier. DerHörVerlag , Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-86717-782-5 (13 CDs)
  • Michael Köhlmeier's Märchenwelt 2. Spoken by Michael Köhlmeier. DerHörVerlag, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-86717-830-3 (12 CDs)
  • The Adventures of Joel Strollers. Voiced by Michael Köhlmeier. DerHörVerlag, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-8445-1073-7 . (4 mp3-CD in 1 box, total playing time 31.30'00 '')
  • Michael Köhlmeier tells sagas from Austria. Voiced by Michael Köhlmeier. Hoanzl , Vienna 2014. (9 CDs)
  • The girl with the thimble. Voiced by Michael Köhlmeier. DerHörVerlag, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-8445-2107-8 . (3 CD in 1 box, total running time 3.17 ')
  • Who told you you were naked Adam? - Mythological-philosophical seductions (with Konrad Paul Liessmann). Voiced by Michael Köhlmeier and Konrad Paul Liessmann. DerHörVerlag, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-8445-2385-0 (5 CDs)
  • Brother and sister Lenobel. Voiced by Michael Köhlmeier. DerHörVerlag, Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-8445-3105-3 (2 MP3 CDs)
  • Throw the first stone. - Mythological-philosophical damnations (with Konrad Paul Liessmann). Voiced by Michael Köhlmeier and Konrad Paul Liessmann. DerHörVerlag, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-8445-3576-1 (5 CDs)
  • Western heroes. Voiced by Michael Köhlmeier. With music by Michael Köhlmeier & Hans Theessink. ORF Shop Distribution, Vienna 2019


  • The wild children. Based on the novel of the same name by Monika Helfer, together with Monika Helfer, directed by Christian Berger, 1988.
  • Requiem for Dominic. Together with Felix Mitterer , directed by Robert Dornhelm, 1990.
  • The fish. Together with Joachim Hammann, directed by Robert Dornhelm, 1996.


  • O How laughs. Together with Reinhold Bilgeri, 1973.
  • Live. Together with Reinhold Bilgeri, 1995.
  • BACK. As a guest musician with Alldra , new recording of his 1973 song z'Breagaz am Bahnhof , 2001.
  • 42 songs. Songs in the Vorarlberg dialect, 2003.
  • tearavogl. Schellinski, for eight songs Michael Köhlmeier wrote the lyrics (in dialect), for one also the music, 2004.
  • Us m sack. Schellinski, Michael Köhlmeier wrote the lyrics for eight songs, the music for two and he also did the vocal part for one ( Du arma Hund ), 2005.
  • Heart pain hotel. Schellinski, Michael Köhlmeier wrote the lyrics for 6 songs (in dialect), 2008.
  • 12 songs based on motifs by Hank Williams. 2008.
  • Moatlaschmecker. Schellinski, Michael Köhlmeier wrote the lyrics for one song, 2011.

Poetry / lyrics

  • One hundred and seven songs. Collection of one hundred and seven songs by Michael Köhlmeier, reproduced in dialect and standard German. Bucher Verlag, 2009.
  • The lover soon after breakfast. Poems. Edition Lyrik Kabinett at Hanser, 2013.
  • A role model for the animals. Poems. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich 2017, ISBN 978-3-446-25446-6 .


  • Günther A. Höfler, Robert Vellusig (eds.): Michael Köhlmeier. (= Dossier , 17). Droschl, Graz et al. 2001, ISBN 3-85420-573-2 .
  • James P. Martin: The crisis of cultural knowledge in Michael Koehlmeier's “Telemach”, Christoph Ransmayr 's “ Morbus Kitahara ” and WG Sebald 's “The Rings of Saturn”. Washington 2004, OCLC 177275147 ( Dissertation Georgetown University Washington DC 2004, 227 pages).
  • Britta Rolfes: Heroes (pictures) in transition. The heroes of the Nibelungs in recent adaptations of children's and youth literature. Schneider Verlag Hohengehren, Baltmannsweiler 2005, ISBN 3-89676-994-4 .
  • Andrea Albrecht : Mathematical knowledge and historical narration: Michael Köhlmeier's novel "Abendland". In: Contemporary literature. A Germanic yearbook. Volume 8, 2009, pp. 192-217. Online version
  • Ulrike Längle, Jürgen Thaler (eds.): Michael Köhlmeier's "Abendland". Five studies. Studien-Verlag, Innsbruck et al. 2010, ISBN 978-3-7065-4936-3 .
  • Maria Behre: Europe as a labyrinth of the West. Michael Köhlmeier's re-reading and re-telling of the myth. In: Germanica. No. 56/2015, Regards croisés sur l'Europe et les voisins européens / “Crossed Views of Europe”. Textes réunis by Andrée Lerousseau. CEGES, Université de Lille 3, 2015, ISBN 978-2-913857-35-3 , pp. 41-55. Online preview .
  • Maria Behre: From war to art - from agon to agora. Homer's “Odyssey” as a philosophical text [for young people according to Hannah Arendt and Michael Köhlmeier]. In: Journal for Didactics of Philosophy and Ethics. 38 (2016), Issue 1: Youth Literature. Edited by Markus Tiedemann, Rolf Sistermann. ISSN  0945-6295 , pp. 74-87. (On Köhlmeier's legends of classical antiquity. Piper, Munich, 30th edition 2016, ISBN 978-3-492-22371-3 , or The large saga of classical antiquity. Piper, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-492-23804-1 ).

Web links

Commons : Michael Köhlmeier  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Ulrike Längle: Narrare necesse est. Life as a narrator, narration as survival . In: Günther A. Höfler, Robert Vellusig (Ed.): Michael Köhlmeier . Droschl, Graz, Vienna 2001, ISBN 3-85420-573-2 , p. 241-257 .
  2. Ulrike Längle: Narrare necesse est. Life as storytelling, storytelling as survival . In: Günther A. Höfler, Robert Vellusig (Ed.): Michael Köhlmeier . Droschl, Graz, Vienna 2001, ISBN 3-85420-573-2 , p. 247 .
  3. On the enigmatic in fairy tales. Michael Köhlmeier in an interview with Haymon. Haymon Verlag , February 1, 2018, accessed on February 19, 2020 .
  4. Michael Köhlmeier: Two Gentlemen on the Beach . Haus Publishing, London 2016, ISBN 978-1-910376-46-1 (German: Zwei Herren am Strand . Munich 2014. Translated by Ruth Martin).
  5. Author Michael Köhlmeier reports Mölzer for hate speech. In: The Standard . April 4, 2014, accessed February 19, 2020 .
  6. Köhlmeier: Anyone who thinks that the FPÖ protects Jews "is an idiot". In: The Standard . May 4, 2018, accessed February 19, 2020 .
  7. 2018/05/04 - Speech by Michael Köhlmeier. In: YouTube . May 4, 2018, accessed on February 19, 2020 (speech on Remembrance Day against Violence and Racism).
  8. ^ Köhlmeier: Anyone who thinks that the FPÖ protects Jews is "an idiot or a cynic". In: Courier . May 4, 2018, accessed February 19, 2020 .
  9. Kathrin Glösel: Köhlmeier speech: How Chancellor Kurz makes himself a victim. In: Contrast.at . May 9, 2018, accessed February 19, 2020 .
  10. Johannes Voggenhuber: Köhlmeier speech: A historical truth of burning topicality. In: The Standard . October 5, 2018, accessed on February 21, 2020 (user comment).
  11. Karin Janker: In many small steps to evil. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . May 5, 2018, accessed February 21, 2020 .
  12. Alexander Solloch: Lie or Truth - an enigmatic novel. »On the Walls of Paradise« by Martin Schneitewind, translated from the French by Raoul Schrott. In: NDR culture . March 29, 2019, accessed February 22, 2020 .
  13. Kristina Maidt-Zinke: Gentlemen's Literature - Yawning Lie. The novel "Martin Schneitewind" raises the question: Does the postmodern game with fictional authors still make sense? In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . May 13, 2019, accessed February 22, 2020 .
  14. Wolfgang Ölz: Above all, the author must be honest with his characters. Conversation with the Vorarlberg author Michael Köhlmeier about his writing activities. In: Salzburger Nachrichten . June 11, 1994.
  15. Vienna awards for Gerhard Rühm and Michael Köhlmeier. In: Press Service Rathauskorrespondenz. City of Vienna, February 12, 2007, accessed on February 22, 2020 .
  16. Press release of the City of Aachen from May 5, 2014 ( Memento from May 17, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  17. Cross of Honor for Köhlmeier and helpers. In: orf.at . March 8, 2016, accessed February 22, 2020 .
  18. DÖW honors Köhlmeier for Hofburg speech. In: orf.at . April 8, 2019, accessed February 22, 2020 .
  19. ^ Nestroy ring for Michael Köhlmeier. In: orf.at . December 8, 2019, accessed February 22, 2020 .
  20. Review notes on The Man Who Finds Lost Things at perlentaucher.de
  21. Markus Wigert: The devil plays God in Bregenz: World premiere of Michael Köhlmeier's "Lamm Gottes". In: tagblatt.ch . November 25, 2019, accessed November 26, 2019 .