Patrick Süskind

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Patrick Süskind (born March 26, 1949 in Ambach am Starnberger See ) is a German writer and screenwriter . His 1985 published and so far only novel Perfume became a bestseller . His one-person piece The Double Bass was also a global success .


Süskind grew up in Holzhausen in Bavaria , a village in what is now Münsing . His father, Wilhelm Emanuel Süskind , was a writer , translator and long-time employee of the Süddeutsche Zeitung , his mother Annemarie Süskind, née Schmitt, was a sports teacher. His older brother Martin Erhard Süskind was also a journalist . Patrick Süskind has numerous ancestors from Württemberg honorability . He is a descendant of the Bible writer Johann Albrecht Bengel and thus also of the reformer Johannes Brenz .

From 1968, after high school and community service , Süskind studied medieval history and modern history in Munich , including two semesters in Aix-en-Provence , in order to improve his French. During this time I wrote my first own texts. He also took courses in English, Spanish, Latin, Greek, politics, art and theology. He broke off his studies in 1974.

Süskind largely refuses to meet the expectations of the literary business. He only gave four surviving interviews, does not appear in public and has rejected various awards, such as the French prize for the best debut (1986) as well as the Tukan Prize (1987) and the FAZ Literature Prize (also 1987). He also did not appear at the world premiere of the film adaptation of his novel The Perfume on September 7, 2006 in Munich. In the script for Rossini , however, he self-ironically reflects on his own life: the film character of the shy author refuses to have her book made into a film - even for a lot of money. The producer was created by Süskind as an image of Bernd Eichinger , who - according to his own statement - tried to acquire the film rights for Das Parfum from Süskind . There are also hardly any published photos of Süskind. In the television series Monaco Franze - The Eternal Stenz , however, he has a small cameo (9th episode in the pub, short cut). On September 7, 2006, a portrait was shown as part of the series “Die große Bayern” on Bayerischer Rundfunk , in which Süskind did not speak up himself. Instead, Joachim Król and Christine Kaufmann reported on their experiences with him.

Despite this fear of publicity, Süskind was one of the founding members of the German Film Academy in 2003 .

Süskind lives mainly in Munich, in Seeheim am Starnberger See and in Montolieu in France. He is friends with the French draftsman Jean-Jacques Sempé , who contributed the drawings for the novella The Story of Mr. Sommer . In return, Süskind translated some of Sempé's works into German.

Together with his partner Tanja Graf , he is the father of a son.

Literary work

As protagonists in his works, Süskind predominantly chooses antiheroes who stand outside of society and who look at the goings-on as outsiders. In the one-act play The Double Bass (1981), a lonely double bass player speaks a monologue about his life. In the 1984/85 season, with more than 500 performances, the work was the most frequently performed piece on German-speaking theaters and is still part of the current repertoire of German and international theaters.

Süskind's best-known work is the novel Das Parfum (1985), which became a global success with translations in 49 languages ​​and around 20 million copies sold . In 1987 the work received the World Fantasy Award in the Best Novel category. Directed by Tom Tykwer , the novel was filmed in 2006 under the title Perfume - The Story of a Murderer after the production company Constantin Film and producer Bernd Eichinger acquired the rights for an unknown amount estimated at between five and ten million dollars . In a vote organized by the BBC among around 750,000 British people with the aim of naming the 100 most important books in world literature, Süskind's Das Parfum was the only German title that made it onto the list.

Süskind also worked on scripts for the multi-part television series Monaco Franze - Der ewige Stenz (1982) and Kir Royal (1986) as well as on the feature films Rossini - or the murderous question of who slept with whom (1997) and From Searching and Finding Love (2005 ), all of which were directed by Helmut Dietl .






  • Andreas Blödorn, Christine Hummel (ed.): Psychograms of the postmodern. New investigations into the work of Patrick Süskind. (= Small Series, Literature - Culture - Language, Volume 5). WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, Trier 2008, ISBN 978-3-86821-005-7 .
  • Frank Degler: Aisthetic Reductions. Analysis of Patrick Süskind's 'Der Kontrabaß', 'Das Parfum' and 'Rossini' . de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2003, ISBN 3-11-017759-5 . (At the same time dissertation at the University of Mannheim 2002)
  • David Freudenthal: Sign of loneliness. Meaning creation and denial of meaning in the story of Patrick Süskind. (= Poetica series, volume 80). Kovač, Hamburg 2005, ISBN 3-8300-1729-4 .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c mak / ap: Patrick Süskind - As fleeting as a fragrance. In: Focus , March 26, 2009.
  2. Hermann Ehmer:  SÜSKIND, Friedrich Gottlieb. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 11, Bautz, Herzberg 1996, ISBN 3-88309-064-6 , Sp. 208-209.
  3. Why are people so pushy?
  4. Patrick Süskind in the Bavarian literature portal (project of the Bavarian State Library )
  5. Patrick Süskind - The shy author from Lake Starnberg. In: BR-Online , August 1, 2011.
  6. a b Book PR: Stories from shy Mr. Süskind ( Memento from October 3, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  7. Alexander Kissler: Searching for traces: Who is Patrick Süskind? In: Die Welt , September 10, 2006.
  8. Tanja Graf becomes the new boss at the literary house, January 12, 2016. Quote: "[She is returning] to Munich - where her partner, the author Patrick Süskind, lives."
  9. María Cecilia Barbetta: Poetics of the Neo-Fantastic. Patrick Süskind's novel "Perfume" . Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2002, ISBN 3-8260-2221-1 , p. 100.
  10. Antje Weber: Tanja Graf becomes the new head of the Literaturhaus , , January 12, 2016
  11. Felicitas von Lovenberg : "The Perfume" - No advance payment, please! In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , September 12, 2006.
  12. ^ German press agency : Public shyness world author. In: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger , September 7, 2006.
  13. Eichinger got the coveted "Parfum" . In: Der Spiegel from January 10, 2001.
  14. ^ The Big Read 100