Volker Klotz

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Volker Klotz (born December 20, 1930 in Darmstadt ) is a German literary scholar , theater critic and dramaturge .


After Volker Klotz graduated from Ludwig-Georgs-Gymnasium in his hometown, he studied German , English and art history at the University of Frankfurt am Main . There he was a student of Kurt May and belonged to the circle around his assistant at the time, Walter Höllerer . He received his doctorate in 1959 with a paper on the closed and open form in drama . He then became a research assistant at Walter Höllerer's chair at the Technical University of Berlin , where he qualified as a professor in 1968 with a thesis on The Narrated City - a subject that challenges the novel from Lesage to Döblin .

As a visiting professor, he taught in Stockholm in 1969/70. From 1971 to 1995 Klotz was professor for literary studies at the University of Stuttgart . He had regular visiting professorships and regular lecture tours through the Goethe-Institut , including in England, France, Scandinavia as well as in Morocco and Tunisia. In addition, he worked as an opera and drama critic and dramaturgist in Vienna ( Burgtheater , Volksoper , Group 80 ). Accordingly, he was also active in Mannheim, Bremen Tübingen, Erfurt, Nordhausen, Münster and Stuttgart. Klotz has retired since 1995.

Klotz 'monograph "Closed and Open Form in Drama" developed into a standard work and appeared in 14 editions from 1960 to 1996. She had a great influence on drama research. In it, Klotz juxtaposes two opposing forms of dramas based on the distinction between open and closed forms in the visual arts by the art historian Heinrich Wölfflin .

His history of the European art fairy tale from the Renaissance to the Modern Age (1985) and the operetta book from 1991 are also regarded as standard works. He deliberately does not want the latter to be understood as an “operetta guide”. The operetta is characterized as a misunderstood, “unheard-of” genre, as a, at best, dramaturgically and musically “rebellious stage piece that runs against frozen and stuck attitudes”.

Volker Klotz is a member of the PEN Center Germany . He lives in Stuttgart and Vienna . On his birthday in 2010, the FAZ paid tribute to his life and work.



  • Bertolt Brecht. Experiment on the work (1957, 7th extended edition 2011)
  • Closed and open form in drama (1960, 14th edition 1996)
  • The narrated city. A subject as a challenge for the novel (1969, 2nd ed. 1987)
  • Stage letters. Reviews and essays on theater (1972)
  • Dramaturgy of the audience. How stage and audience interact, especially with Raimund, Büchner, Wedekind, Horváth, Gatti and in political agitation theater (1976)
  • Adventure novels (Sue, Dumas, Ferry, Retcliffe, May, Verne) (1979, 2nd ed. 1987)
  • Bourgeois laughter theater. Comedy - Posse - Schwank - Operetta (1980, 2nd edition 1987)
  • The European art fairy tale. Twenty-five chapters of its history from the Renaissance to the modern age (1985, 3rd edition 2002)
  • Operetta. Portrait and manual of an unheard-of art (1991, 3rd expanded and updated edition 2004)
  • Radical drama. Scenic pre-avant-garde: Von Holberg zu Nestroy, von Kleist zu Grabbe (1996, 2nd, extended edition 2010)
  • Mephistus Ascension. Parodistic operetta based on “Là-haut!” By Maurice Yvain (1999)
  • Venus Maria. Resurrecting female statues in novels (2nd edition 2010)
  • Object as an opponent. Adversaries on the stage: things, letters, but also barbers Vienna 2000
  • Literature official for life. Scope of the academic administration of poetry . Essays and Notes (1991)
  • Tell. From Homer to Boccaccio, from Cervantes to Faulkner Beck, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-406-54273-2 .
  • Idle-goers: non-perpetrators. No good in Struwwelpeter, Datterich and elsewhere, two essays. Magistrate, Press and Information Office, Darmstadt 2001, DNB 961918373 ( Darmstadt documents , volume 12).
  • Verse art. What is, what can a lyric poem do? Aisthesis Verlag , Bielefeld 2011. ISBN 978-3-89528-800-5 .
  • Comedy. Stages of its history from antiquity to today. Concept, floor plan, intended use (co-authors: Andreas Mahler, Roland Müller, Wolfram Nitsch, Hans-Peter Plocher, 2013)
  • Long live: the operetta. Attempts to awaken them again , Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-8260-5087-9


  • EE Niebergall, Datterich. (1962)
  • On the poetics of the novel. (Ways of research). (1965)
  • E. Arendt, Under the hooves of the wind. Poems 1926–1965 (1966)
  • Building blocks for a poetics of modernity. FS. for Walter Höllerer (ed.). (1987)
  • Karl Malss: Frankfurter Mundartstücke (Ed.) (1988)


  • Volker Klotz. In: Kürschner's German Scholars Calendar. Bio-bibliographical directory of contemporary German-speaking scientists. 2003. Volume II: K - Sch. 19th edition. KG Saur, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-598-23607-7 , p. 1662.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Achim Geisenhanslüke , Michael Peter Hehl: Walter Höllerer and the emergence of the modern literary business. In: Poetics in the Technical Age. Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2013, pp. 7–13, here p. 12.
  2. Walter Höllerer and the literature in the technical age. In: Achim Geisenhanslüke, Michael Peter Hehl: Poetics in the technical age. Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2013, pp. 213-233, here p. 213.
  3. ^ Carsten Cell: "The Disintegration of Form in the Arts". On the topic of conservative literary and art criticism in Erich von Kahler's work. In: Ralph Kray, Kai Luehrs-Kaiser: Closed forms. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2005, p. 95.
  4. ^ Mathias Mayer Jens Tismar: Art fairy tales. 4th edition, JB Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2003, p. IX.
  5. ^ FAZ from December 20, 2010, page 30: the professor who laughed.