Raoul scrap

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Raoul scrap

Raoul Schrott (born January 17, 1964 in Landeck , Tyrol ) is an Austrian literary scholar , comparativeist and writer .


Raoul Schrott was born in Landeck in 1964. The occasional mention of São Paulo as the place of birth is probably based on a joke in an interview by Schrott. Schrott grew up in Landeck, Tunis and Zurich as the son of an Austrian foreign trade delegate.


After graduating from the Bundesrealgymnasium Landeck, he studied German, English and American studies at the University of Innsbruck . He studied in 1983/1984 at the University of East Anglia , Norwich. In 1986 he completed his teaching degree and completed the trial year at the BRG / BORG Landeck. In 1986/1987 he studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and was also secretary to the French surrealist and author Philippe Soupault . In 1988 he submitted his dissertation at the University of Innsbruck, Dada 1921–1922 in Tyrol . In 1989/1990 he studied semiotics and comparative literature at the TU and the FU in Berlin with a postgraduate scholarship from the DAAD .


From 1990 to 1993 he was lecturer for German studies at the Istituto Orientale in Naples . In 1996 he completed his habilitation at the Institute for Comparative Literature at the University of Innsbruck, for whose continued existence he campaigned, with the thesis: Fragments of a Language of Poetry - Poetic Structures from Ancient Greece to Dadaism .

In the 2008/2009 winter semester Schrott was appointed to the Samuel Fischer visiting professorship for literature at the Free University of Berlin. In 2012 he held the Tübingen poetics lectureship together with Christoph Ransmayr at the University of Tübingen . In 2016/2017 he was visiting professor for German studies at the University of Bern.

Schrott currently lives in the Bregenzerwald region , Vorarlberg.


Occupation with Dada and own poetry

After his time in Paris as secretary of the last living surrealist Philippe Soupault , he did his doctorate on Dadaism in Tyrol 1921–1922 , where the French Dadaists around Tristan Tzara , André Breton and Paul Éluard met with the Cologne Dadaists Max Ernst and Baargeld and Hans Arp , what led to one final creative phase of the movement before its split into surrealists and constructivists . The publication of this volume Dada 21/22, A Documentation of the Last Two Dada Years (1988) was followed by the extensive documentation Dada 15/25 (1992), which Tristan Tzara's collected correspondence including a selection from his work between 1915 and 1925 as well as dossiers from the Contained texts presented at Zurich Dada soirées.

In addition, the first volumes of poetry, still influenced by Dada, Surrealism and the Viennese group, appeared. The first was HC Artmann who inspired him. In direct contradiction to the tendencies of contemporary literature of the time, the idea of ​​the “strong metaphor ” is recapitulated, which can decompose and transcend reality: “All in all, scrap is about nothing less than the defense of poetry, metaphor and other traditional stylistic devices in a period of extreme endangerment. ”The result is vivid spelling, which from now on will gradually change in Schrott's work through the occupation with ever new subject areas and cognitive methods. The band Hotels (1995) represents a turning point , with whom he turned towards a poetic realism that works on concrete objects in order to gain knowledge of the human condition without any mere surreal diction . The volumes of poetry Tropen - About the Sublime (1998) and the White Book - About the Holy (2004) are just as cyclical, based on different perspectives on a central theme and each provided with essayistic prefaces and marginalia . The Art of Believing in Nothing (2015) presented a series of professional portraits as today's social panorama, framed by excerpts from a treatise from the 18th century that is attributed to the first German atheist , Matthias Knutzen .

Essay writing and classification as ' Poeta doctus '

The processing of the poetic tradition back to its roots became visible from the mid-1990s, when Schrott realized comprehensive cross-sections of the literatures of past millennia in several publications. His collection The Invention of Poetry is much discussed . Poems from the first four thousand years . At the same time he is doing his habilitation at the Institute for Comparative Literature at the University of Innsbruck with the work Fragments of a Language of Poetry in a European Context. Poetic structures from ancient Greece to Dadaism. Both writings show how Raoul Schrott wants to embed his own writing dynamically in new historical and poetological considerations. He is not working on a monolithic, monothematic work, but understands the history of literature and, as a result, his own writing as processual and changeable - and in the years to come he will repeatedly refer to this claim as "poeta doctus", who in his works the Assumes knowledge of the literature of his predecessors and consciously pursues it.

Speeches, newspaper articles, discussions or essays - collected in The Earth is blue as an orange. Poetisches, Polemisches, Privates (1999) or Handbuch der Wolkenputzerei (2005) - refer to the fact that poetry and literature in general should not be viewed as isolated phenomena outside society or social debates. Schrott speaks and writes with “universal poetic ambition” about poetics and literary criticism, about the origins of poetry and science, and about the relationship between the natural sciences and the humanities. This universalistic orientation became more and more important in Schrott's work history. In 2011, for example, he wrote the volume Brain and Poem together with the neurolinguist at Freie Universität Berlin , Arthur Jacobs , in which he worked out the cognitive basis of the individual styles of literature, from their essential thought patterns such as metaphor and comparison to their imagery and metrics.

In the spring of 2018 the volume “Politiken & Ideen” will be published, which contains four essays that are interested in the processes of the emergence of culture and that consider culture that understands it as political insofar as it results from social processes. Schrott also published a number of travel essays such as Khamsin (2002) and Die Fifth Welt - Ein Logbuch (2007), which deal with the exploration and experience of the desert; for the latter volume, Schrott was part of an expedition team from the University of Cologne , which explored the last remaining blank space on earth, the Erdi-Ma in northeastern Chad .


With his novel Finis Terrae - Ein Nachlass (1995) Schrott achieved his breakthrough as a writer; he was awarded the Carinthia State Prize at the 1994 Bachmann Competition and then the G7 Literature Prize. It compares the fictitious logbook of the Greek geographer and astronomer Pytheas von Massalia (around 330 BC) with the autobiographical writings of Ludwig Höhnel, a grandson of the discoverer of Lake Turkana in Kenya, in order to trace his life and illness to death.

Raoul Schrott presented shorter prose with his novella The Desert Lop Nor (2000), which links journeys to the 'Singing Dunes' in the most diverse deserts of the world and considerations about the causes of their sound with a poetic (natural) story of love.

In 2003 the novel Tristan da Cunha or Half of the Earth was published . In the most remote place in the world, on the eponymous Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha , the fates of three men and one woman have crossed over the centuries: Noomi Morholt, South African scientist who is traveling to Antarctica in January 2003; Edwin Heron Dodgson, brother of the famous Lewis Carroll and a priest who is supposed to evangelize the settlers on Tristan, begins an affair with a girl and becomes deeply involved in guilt; Christian Reval, who was stationed on the island during World War II and died in the late 1960s while surveying an island further south under unknown circumstances; and Mark Thompson, stamp dealer, who reconstructs the story of Tristan da Cunha and thus that of his failed marriage. The island with its rugged landscapes becomes a vanishing point and a projection surface for their different love stories, longings and obsessions. Tristan da Cunha or half of the earth was enthusiastically received by the critics : Scrap impresses above all with “[e] ine force of language, which is not easy to give a term. Passages appear that cannot be read otherwise than with bated breath, sentences that follow you for days. ”The novel is“ world literature ”,“ a book that shows what German literature could dare to do at the beginning of this century . "

The Silent Child In
2012, Raoul Schrott's story The Silent Child was published . The story tells of a painter who, while staying in a sanatorium, writes letters to his daughter as a form of therapy. In the letters he reports on the circumstances that led to the death of her mother and describes various memories, of his love for this woman, the birth of their daughter, a desired child, and the systematic withdrawal of the daughter by the mother: This is presented as Criminal case that takes a surprising turn at the end. The reviews of this “anti-family novel” were mostly positive. Thus, not only the thematization of the social grievances of fathers without rights in the custody dispute and the “just as credible as moving psychogram of a family tragedy” designed by the author are praised, but also Schrott's language, which “with all the meticulous observation, has traits of lyrical tenderness” and tells "of the torments of a father with frightening calm and beguiling beauty".

First Earth
After studying the Gilgamesh and Iliad epics, alongside the historical reconstruction of world literature, Raoul Schrott expanded this movement decisively in the 2010s. Supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, he worked for seven years on the work Erste Erde Epos , which appeared in 2016. On 850 pages, this book attempts a contemporary definition of man in the universe in long poems by confronting him with all the knowledge of today's natural sciences. From the Big Bang to the creation of the planet and the creation of hominids , scientific findings are presented in a variety of poetic ways, the book tells the story of the universe from various enlightening places around the planet, such as the sites of early stone formations or skeletons.

In ever-changing forms, a broad narrative panorama emerges, which is supplemented at the end of the book by an almost two hundred-page specialist text in which the origin of the universe and man is understood from the perspective of all current categories of knowledge. With this book, which breaks completely out of the usual publications of contemporary poetry and which Raoul Schrott discussed at numerous podiums and events with natural scientists, theologians and humanities scholars from the most varied of origins, a universalistic approach to contemporary poetry was marked, as the critics unanimously conceded: “The author is more comparative Literary scholar, but from his interest in natural events emerges the internal structure of this magnum opus, which, as the alchemists once strived for, crystallizes out of seemingly disjointed masses. ”This marks the point of knowledge on which Raoul Schrott fundamentally in his literary and scientific work aims, namely overcoming all too narrow disciplinary boundaries in favor of a humanistic aesthetic interested in all aspects of empirical reality: “Raoul Schrott has won the impossible undertaking agt to poetically unfold this story of the world from the Big Bang to humans without metaphysics and religion. "


His various translation works, which with Derek Walcotts Mittsommer (2001) also include contemporary poetry, but above all transport ancient texts into contemporary German with an equivalent effect and thus make the works accessible again to a modern audience, each time triggered wide echoes. These include the Bakchen created for the Vienna Burgtheater - After Euripides (1999) as well as his selection of ancient Egyptian love poetry The Blossom of the Naked Body (2010). The Ninivite epic of Gilgamesh , which was translated true to the text and the material was freely edited, as well as Homer's Iliad and Hesiod's theogony should be emphasized here .

Gilgamesh. Epos
2001 Raoul Schrott submitted a translation of the Gilgamesh epic, which he had developed on the basis of the latest findings with the Assyriologists Robert Rollinger and Manfred Schretter . For this purpose, the missing fifth of the text was reconstructed with the help of fragments of the Ninivite version of this epic found in other places. The criticism was Gilgamesh. Epic received mostly positive: "Anyone who wants to read the Epic of Gilgamesh in German today, as far and as precisely as the text and research situation allow, will not be able to avoid Raoul Schrott's translation [...]." The translation then became the starting point for an independent new version of the material in the volume, which also processed its older sources; this dramatized version was premiered in 2002 at the Vienna Akademietheater .

Iliad and Troy Question
Between 2005 and 2008 Schrott worked on a new translation of Homer's Iliad . For the radio play editors of the Hessischer Rundfunk and Deutschlandfunk , Klaus Buhlert worked in parallel with Schrott on an audio version with the speaker Manfred Zapatka . The Iliad was published as an audiobook and book for the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2008. In addition, he dealt with recent international publications in comparative literary studies , which in his opinion have shown multiple connections between Homer and Assyrian texts. He put forward the thesis of further parallels between ancient oriental and the Homeric writings, as well as connections to the Genesis of the Old Testament . He stated: "The Graecists and the Assyriologists have hardly taken any notice of one another so far, the Occident and the Orient are still
ideologically and culturally separated in literary studies, unlike archeology or ethnology ."

Schrott expanded the planned literary foreword of the transmission to a separate publication on the " Homeric question ", in which he stated that the Greek Homer must have lived in the Assyrian cultural area. He compared the descriptions of the landscape in the Iliad with the westernmost parts of the Assyrian area of ​​influence and found ("hundreds") references to the landscape around Karatepe in Cilicia . For Schrott, Homer is a Greek scribe in the Assyrian service in Karatepe (in order to get the scribe's post he was emasculated , which explains peculiarities of his story), who adapted old Greek motifs from the Trojan War to local conditions and dressed them in the local narrative traditions .

Schrott's theses on Homer and Troy, which he published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on December 22, 2007 , initially encountered the opposition of some scholars whose work would have been directly affected by a corresponding paradigm shift, such as the Graecist Joachim Latacz , the classical philologist Paul Dräger or the ancient historian Stefan Rebenich . The Italian classical philologists Bruno Gentili and Carmine Catenacci accused Schrott of failed methodical approaches, linguistically absurd constructions and “fantasies”. Other scholars such as Robert Rollinger , Walter Burkert and Christoph Ulf thought his theses were worth discussing and “broadening the horizon”, even if they mostly reject them as a result. In any case, most of the statements made by researchers that have become known to date are dominated by skepticism.

On 13./14. November 2008, Assyriologists, Hittitologists and Graecists discussed Raoul Schrott's theses in a symposium in Innsbruck. Schrott's theses did not meet with any of the participants. At the beginning of 2009, Schrott said that in the 15 or so panel discussions that he had held with the representatives of the various departments up to that point, no argument had yet come up that "undermined" his thesis. In an essay from 2008 published in 2011, Ivo Hajnal remarked that it was thanks to Raoul Schrott that, despite all the criticisms in detail, he directed the attention of Homer research in a new direction. Schrott's interpretations are not always free of contradictions and there are methodological problems in establishing name equations. "Raoul Schrott's thesis may be right or wrong - but it encourages us to include the early Cilicia in our considerations." More recent research now suggests that the mountain fortress Karatepe , located in Schrott Troy, was actually inhabited by Greeks.

Schrott supplemented his theses on the Iliad saga in autumn 2015 with a reinterpretation of the beginning of the work. The previous understanding, according to which the epic was conceived as the song of a muse, he attributes to a translation error; In reality, the narrator reads the song of his addressee himself and turns to the titan Themis with the introductory saying Aeide Thea (“Heb an, goddess!”), who talks about the outcome of the Trojan War and the fate of his protagonists - especially Achilles - should judge.

Hesiod's Theogony
2014 appeared scrap translation of Hesiod's Theogony that of an extensive essay on the origin of the Muses from northern Syria - the Musa Dagh on the Cilician border - was accompanied, where archeology an unambiguous transfer route by the Greek Emporion al Mina after Evia identify can. Schrott explains in detail the Greek assimilation processes of the cult around the Hittite goddess of justice, Hepat-Musuni, who only slowly turned into a muse after Hesiod, in order to reveal further references to the Homeric question.


Publications, translations

As editor


Radio plays




  • Herlinde Koelbl : Raoul scrap. In: Writing at home - How writers go about their work - Photographs and conversations. Knesebeck Verlag, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-89660-041-9 ; Pp. 28-35; Photo documentation Schrotts, which portrays the author at his workplace and in his personal environment and in an interview represents the basis of his vocation as well as the framework and individual approach to the creation of his works.
  • Heinz Ludwig Arnold / Torsten Hoffmann (eds.): Raoul Schrott. Text + criticism. Journal of Literature. Issue 176. Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-88377-903-4 .
  • Mira Alexandra Schnoor: The poetic journeys of Raoul Schrott. Portrait of a tracer between times, languages ​​and literatures. In: Katarina Agathos / Herbert Kapfer (Ed.): Radio play. Authors' talks and portraits. Belleville Verlag, Munich 2009, pp. 163–178, ISBN 978-3-936298-68-0 .
  • Theo Breuer : From the hinterland. Poetry after 2000 . Edition YE, Sistig / Eifel 2005, ISBN 3-87512-186-4 .

Web links

Commons : Raoul Schrott  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Junk at Munzinger
  2. https://www.geisteswissenschaften.fu-berlin.de/fachbereich/gastprof/fischer/schrott_raoul/index.html
  3. The Art of Believing in Nothing, Der Standard, October 2, 2015
  4. Raoul Schrott: Occasional Poems . In: Renatus Deckert (ed.): The first book. Writer on her literary debut . 1st edition. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-518-45864-8 , pp. 284-288 .
  5. Michael Buselmeier: Criticism means telling of poetry , [1] , Die Zeit / Supplement, November 10, 2005
  6. Thomas Meissner: All balls in the air , [2] , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , April 29, 2005
  7. Michael Braun: In the distance, with us , [3] , Frankfurter Rundschau , June 8, 2005
  8. ^ Andreas Dorschel , Süddeutsche Zeitung , August 28, 2003
  9. ^ Franz Haas, Neue Zürcher Zeitung , September 3, 2003
  10. Jochen Jung: The island of the cartographer's wife [4] , Die Zeit, September 11, 2003
  11. Andreas Heimann: Not the slightest chance [5] , Eßlinger Zeitung , March 24, 2012
  12. Ekkehard Rudolph: Lebensbeichte im Sanatorium , Stuttgarter Zeitung , June 1, 2012
  13. Kathrin Kramer: An archaic pain , Basler Zeitung , March 4, 2012
  14. S. Zobl in conversation with Raoul Schrott: That leads to Fritzl , NEWS, February 29, 2012
  15. Josef H. Reichholf : The Bonobo and the Stars. In his First Earth Epic, Raoul Schrott wants to transform the evolution of the cosmos and man into poetry [6] , Süddeutsche Zeitung, November 28, 2016
  16. Steffen Martus: We are all in the same wind [7] , Die Zeit, February 16, 2017
  17. Hermann Wallmann: He built the wall around Uruk and around Saint Eanna - ( Memento from September 5, 2017 in the Internet Archive ), Frankfurter Rundschau, October 11, 2001
  18. Stefan Weidner: In far distance, so close [8] , Die Zeit, October 31, 2001
  19. Negative to the Iliad translation Wolfgang Schuller : “When bedposts wobble When bedposts wobble” , Die Welt , August 30, 2008.
       Positive about Christian Thomas: “24 Iliad songs. The return of the singers ” , Frankfurter Rundschau , September 1, 2008
  20. Peter von Becker: "Willkommen im Morgenland" , Der Tagesspiegel , March 9, 2008, p. 3
  21. Raoul Schrott: "Adana: Homer finally has a home - in Turkey" , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , December 22, 2007.
  22. "An" insane fantasy ". Classical philologist Latacz criticizes Raoul Schrott's work on Homer ” , Deutschlandfunk , December 31, 2007
  23. Paul Dräger : Review of scrap: Homer, Ilias ( Memento from September 28, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 547 kB).
  24. Stefan Rebenich : “An ambitious migrant child, unfortunately neutered” , Neue Zürcher Zeitung, March 15, 2008
  25. Bruno Gentili / Carmine Catenacci: Fantasticherie omeriche di Raoul Schrott e la "nuova" Iliade di Alessandro Baricco , in: Quaderni urbinati di cultura classica, NS 87,3 (2007), pp. 147-161
  26. Robert Rollinger : “Researcher Ignites Controversy About Homer and Troy” , Die Welt, January 28, 2008
  27. ^ Walter Burkert : "Linguistics. Was the great Homer a plagiarist? ” Die Welt , March 10, 2008
  28. https://www.academia.edu/36947744/Die_Diskussion_%C3%BCber_Ilias_und_Homer_alte_Thesen_-_neue_Zug%C3%A4nge
  29. Barbara Patzek : "A scientist answers: Schrotts Homer - a bold historical novel?" FAZ , January 3, 2008
  30. ^ "The dispute over Troy" , Deutschlandradio , January 3, 2008
  31. Thomas Schirren: ( Page no longer available , search in web archives: "Science as a novel. A singing contest in Innsbruck about Raoul Schrott's Homer" ), Süddeutsche Zeitung , November 18, 2008@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.sueddeutsche.de
  32. "Homer, Wanderer Between the Worlds" , Tiroler Tageszeitung , December 1, 2008
  33. ^ Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier : Greece and Asia Minor in the late Bronze Age. The historical background of the Homeric epics. In: Michael Meier-Brügger (Ed.): Homer, interpreted by a large lexicon. Files from the Hamburg Colloquium from 6.-8. October 2010 at the end of the lexicon of the early Greek epic (= treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen. New series volume 21). De Gruyter, 2012, p. 142 f.
  34. Thomas Wagner: "No other text was politically more powerful" , Junge Welt , January 24, 2009, interview
  35. Ivo Hajnal: Names and Etymologies - only partially useful as evidence? In: Christoph Ulf, Robert Rollinger (Ed.): Was Troia in Kilikien? The current dispute over Homer's Iliad . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2011, ISBN 978-3-534-23208-6 , pp. 241, 245, 246, 256 ( online ).
  36. Ilya Yakubovich: Phoenician and Luwian in Early Iron Age Cilicia. In: Anatolian Studies 65 (2015): 35–53
  37. Raoul Schrott: “Translation error of the 'Iliad': Homer's goddess does not sing” , FAZ, October 27, 2015
  38. ^ Radio report on Homer's homeland : "The dispute over Troy" , Deutschlandradio , January 3, 2008.
  39. ^ BR radio play Pool - Scrap, Tristan da Cunha or Half of the Earth .
  40. SWR 2 : HÖRSPIEL 2/2011, p. 41
  41. ^ BR radio play Pool - Scrap, First Earth Epos