Hallberg, Ulf Peter

Hallberg, Ulf Peter Image 1

Photo: Maria Sturm
Ulf Peter Hallberg grew up in Malmö, absolved a two year graphic education, worked four years as a stripping man, then studied at the Sorbonne and finished a master’s degree in Comparative literature, English and German at Lund University in 1981. Then he worked in the harbour, at the docks. In 1983 he arrived in Berlin with a DAAD scholarship and studied with the philosopher Michael Theunissen at Freie Universität for three years.1988-89 he lived in East-Berlin and worked at Berliner Ensemble, mainly with Heiner Müller productions such as Germania Tod in Berlin (B.E.) and The Commission (Rostock). Between 1998-2002 he was artistic director at Malmö City Theatre, after that he has worked continually as a collaborator with the Royal Dramatic Theatre and other theatres in Sweden, but Hallberg’s residency has remained in Berlin-Schöneberg.
Hallberg’s literary debut, the essay-novel The Flaneur’ s Gaze (1993; Der Blick des Flaneurs, 1995) took the image of the flâneur into the present, followed by Night at Social North. Anatomy Lesson (1999), Grand Tour (2005), The Stolen Football (2006), and Legends & Lies. Italian Stories (2007). European Trash (2009) tells stories circling around a collector and art-lover; Strindberg’s Shadow in the Paris of the North (2011) is a historical novel set in Copenhagen 1887–89.
Hallberg has translated Shakespeare, Molière and Walter Benjamin – Schiller, Wedekind, Brecht, Handke, Schwab, Schimmelpfennig and several other contemporary German and English playwrights. Since 2014 he teaches “Écriture / traduction” 4-6 weeks a year at Ètudes Nordiques, Sorbonne, maintaining a collaboration with the cultural organization “Energheia” in Matera.
In 2016 Hallberg was awarded The Letterstedt Translation Award by the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences for his Shakespeare translations, and in 2018 he was awarded the Kellgren Prize from the Swedish Academy for his literary works. In recent years he has published the novels Berlin Transit. The Unfinished (2019), a new version of Strindberg’s Shadow (2019), and the play Richard II and the Future (2020). His most recent work (co-edited by John Swedenmark) is The Strategies of Solitude. The Flâneur, the Collector, Art and the Ideals of Life (2022).