Yvan Goll

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Yvan Goll (also Ivan , or Ivan Goll , actually Isaac Lang ; * 29. March 1891 in Saint-Die , France ; † 27. February 1950 in Paris ) was a German -französischer poet and husband of German-French writer and journalist Claire Goll . The writer published some of his works under the pseudonym Iwan Lassang.

Lajos Tihanyi : Yvan Goll (1927)


Isaac Lang was born in 1891 in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges in the Vosges, in the part of Lorraine that remained French after 1871 . His father was a cloth merchant from a Jewish family from Rappoltsweiler in Alsace . After his father's death when he was six years old, his mother moved with him to Metz , the capital of the north-east of Lorraine , which became part of the German Empire in 1871 ( returned to France after 1918 as the Moselle department ). In this predominantly lothringisch - / French-speaking , western part of the Empire State Alsace-Lorraine was either primary education in French possible while the higher school inevitably in German language took place. Later he went to Strasbourg and studied at the University and in Freiburg and Munich first law and a doctorate in 1912 as a doctor of philosophy .

As a pacifist before fleeing military service, emigrated it at the beginning of World War I in 1914 in the Switzerland , where he worked in Zurich , Lausanne and Ascona lived. There he also worked in a group around Romain Rolland and Henri Guilbeaux in a pacifist sense and got to know the German journalist Clara Aischmann , divorced Studer . In Zurich he maintained contact with (the Strasbourg) ( Jean- ) Hans Arp , Tristan Tzara and Francis Picabia , heads of Dada . After the end of the war, Goll moved to the French capital Paris. Here he married Claire Aischmann. With friends in Berlin , Ivan Goll met the poet Paula Ludwig , nine years his junior , with whom he began a passionate love and work relationship.

With his wife Claire Goll Goll fled into exile in New York at the beginning of the Second World War in 1939 . After the defeat of National Socialism , they returned to France in 1947. There he died in Neuilly-sur-Seine , a suburb of Paris, at the age of 58.

Goll moved between multiple identities throughout his life . He himself explained his affiliation with the words: Jew by fate, born in France by chance, designated as German by stamp paper.


Yvan Goll was initially strongly influenced by German Expressionism . After 1919 he became one of the spokesmen for French surrealism .

In Paris, four short, absurd, so-called “overdramas” were written in German, which, according to John Willett, were in the tradition of Apollinaire : The Chaplinade , The Immortal , The Immortal and Methuselah or The Eternal Citizen . Three of them were relocated by Kiepenheuer; the fourth was to be staged in Königsberg in 1922, but the plan failed. The Chaplinade - according to the subtitle a "cinema poem" - was a homage to the young Charlie Chaplin, who was just becoming famous in Europe . The satirical drama Methuselah or The Eternal Citizen , composed in 1919 and premiered in Berlin in 1924, anticipated many elements of the absurd theater .

In 1920 the anthology Menschheitsdämmerung published the verse and prose versions of his poem Panama Canal . For the Insel-Bücherei (IB 215/2) he transferred in 1928 François Mauriacs Le Baiser au lépreux ("The Leper and the Saint. Novel"). One of his main works is the cycle of poems Johann Ohneland (original title Jean sans terre ), which was published posthumously in 1957. Autobiographical elements can also be seen here, because Goll addresses the displaceability of modern humans.

In cooperation with Kurt Weill , the cantata Der neue Orpheus and the opera Royal Palace were created in 1925/26 . The première of both works in Berlin in 1927 was not very successful, and they were largely forgotten , not least because of the much more successful work Weill and Bertolt Brecht that followed.

Despite his importance for Expressionism and Surrealism and his trilingual writing in English, French and German, Goll's works remained relatively unknown in Germany.


Part of Goll's estate is in the German Literature Archive in Marbach . Parts of it can be seen in the permanent exhibition of the Modern Literature Museum in Marbach.

Chronology of the works

  • 1912: Lorraine folk songs
  • 1914: The Panama Canal (ud pseudonym Iwan Lazang )
  • 1917: Requiem. For the fallen of Europe
  • 1919: The underworld poems, S. Fischer Verlag Berlin
  • 1920: The immortals. Two antics. ( The Immortal. Two Nudes and The Immortal. Two Nudes ). Potsdam: Kiepenheuer ( digitized in the Internet Archive )
  • 1922: Methuselah or The Eternal Citizen
  • 1922: Melusine . Drama (first performance 1956 in Wiesbaden)
  • 1925: Germaine Berton. The red virgin. Berlin: The Forge, 1925.
  • 1925: Poèmes d'Amour (with Claire Aischmann )
  • 1926: Poèmes de Jalousie (with Claire Aischmann)
  • 1927: Poèmes de la Vie et de la Mort (with Claire Aischmann)
  • 1927: Royal Palace
  • 1927: The Eurokokke (French: Lucifer Vieillissant )
  • 1927: Le Microbe de l'Or
  • 1928: The Mitropean (new edition 1987 in Berlin: Argon)
  • 1929: Agnus Dei
  • 1930: Sodome et Berlin
  • 1946: Fruit from Saturn
  • 1960: seals. Poetry, prose, drama . Edited by Claire Goll. Darmstadt, Luchterhand 1960.
  • 1962: Selected poems . Stuttgart, Reclam 1962 a. ö
  • 1968: poems. A selection . Ed. René A. Strasser, Magica, Meilen / Zurich [1968]
  • 1996: The Poetry . Edited by Barbara Glauert-Hesse. Göttingen: Wallstein (4 volumes)
  • 2009: poems . Berlin: hochroth publishing house
  • 2013: edited and with an afterword by Barbara Glauert-Hesse: Claire Goll , Yvan Goll, Paula Ludwig . "Only once more will I be unfaithful to you". Correspondence and records 1917–1966 . Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen, ISBN 978-3-8353-1046-9 .


Web links

Commons : Yvan Goll  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Brockhaus literature. Volume 5, Leipzig 1995, ISBN 3-411-11800-8 , p. 106.
  2. John Willett: Explosion of the Middle. Art and Politics 1917–1933 . Translated from the English by Benjamin Schwarz. Publishing house Rogner + Bernhard, Munich 1978/1981, p. 85.
  3. Udo Kittelmann : Kittelmann's classic "The Chapliniade. A film poem by Ivan Gol ” . In: Monopoly , April 22, 2010.
  4. ^ Ricarda Wackers: Dialogue of the arts. The collaboration between Kurt Weill and Yvan Goll . Waxmann, Münster 2004, ISBN 978-3-8309-6369-1 ( publisher information ).
  5. Press photos of the new permanent exhibition. ( Memento from September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive )