Since 2021 she has been writing her dissertation about the representation of the sea in Scandinavian literature.
Between 1970 and 1978 Scandinavian, German and American Studies in Kiel, Uppsala, Berlin and Turku, Finland. Literary translator of Swedish and Finnish-Swedish fiction and poetry since 1977, one of the editors of the book series and annual "Trajekt" (published in both Germany and Finland) with literary and critical texts about Finnish, Finnish-Swedish, Sámi and Estonian, 1985 and 1986 also Latvian and Lithuanian literature.
Since 2010 Project leader and editor-in-chief of the "Virtual Baltic Sea Library". Member of the German Literary Translators' Association (VdÜ), PEN Germany, Baltic Writers' Council (1997-2013, member of the board 1998-2002, chairman 2005-09), Board of Johannes-Bobrowski-Gesellschaft. In the beginning of 2000 interim director at the Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators in Visby. Organized the Poetry Festival on Gotland in 2000, Baltic Meetings in Kaliningrad in 2005, on Gotland in 2007 and several translators' workshops: on the poetry of Gunnar Ekelöf (Alexandria, 2003), Johannes Bobrowski (Visby, 2006), for translators from German-Russian/Russian-German (Rybachi, Kaliningrad oblast, Russia, 2012) and for translators from German-Swedish/Swedish-German (Visby, 1997 and 2012). Lecturer at the University of Basel in Spring 2015. Since 2015 Corresponding Member of the Swedish Literature Society in Finland. Artistic director of the “Reading the Baltic”-Festival in Rostock 2018, “Ostseedialoge” Berlin 2019 and Literary Translation Programme “Nord Stream3” 2020-21.
Awards: Paul-Celan-prize 2005, Gerard Bonniers prize (Swedish Academy) 2014, Mikael Lybeck prize 2016, Ginkgo biloba-prize for the translation of poetry 2022.
Jürgen Manthey, born 1932 in Forst, Lausitz; died 2018 in Lübeck, was a publishing editor, author and literary scholar. He was a member of the PEN Center Germany.
Manthey headed the literature editorial department at Hessischer Rundfunk. He was chief editor at Rowohlt Verlag, edited the Rowohlt literary magazine and the series "das neue buch". In 1998 he published his monography on Hans Fallada.
From 1986 to 1998 he was Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Essen. During his last decades he lived in Lübeck as a freelance author and literary critic. He became widely known for his book on "Königsberg. History of a Cosmopolitan Republic" (Munich 2005). In the last ten years of his life he worked on an unfinished project on "Schicksalsjahre des Ostseeraums".
Margarete Steffin, born in Berlin in 1908, died in Moscow in 1941. She finished elementary school in 1922, whereafter she began a two-year apprenticeship as a clerk and bookkeeper at Globus publishing house. Even at school, she had attracted attention with her artistic and linguistic talents. Steffin continued her education independently, attending evening classes and taking Russian lessons privately.
From the end of the 1920s, she was involved in the workers' education movement, especially in the chorus of the communist workers' sports club "Fichte," where she soon became a solo speaker. As an amateur actress with the Junge Volksbühne, she appeared on stage alongside Ernst Busch, Helene Weigel and Blandine Ebinger in the agit-prop revue Wir sind ja sooo zufrieden, which premiered in 1932. One of the lyricists was Bertolt Brecht, who offered her the next role in his play Die Mutter. Steffin played the maid - alongside Helene Weigel in the title role. Since then, Brecht and Steffin had a love and work relationship, that lasted until her early death.
Steffin's main activity can be described as her work for Brecht; this included research for various projects of Brecht's, the management of his entire correspondence, the organization of his manuscripts, and the preparatory translation of (source) texts. Translating other texts was purely a sideline for Steffin.
It was only with the publication of her Nachgelassene Texte (Literary Remains, 1991) and Briefe (Letters, 1999) that she emerged from Brecht's shadow: as a writer in her own right, and also as a translator. Steffin's translational work was limited to the period of exile together with Brecht's from 1933 to 1941 (Paris, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia on their way to the US).
Reinhard Reichstein, born in Paderborn in 1956, studied pharmacy in Münster/Westphalia and Romance studies and Philosophy in Berlin, where he moved in 1980. His romance book publication is: Imagination in Gérard de Nerval's Narrative Work (Würzburg 1992).
In addition to running a pharmacy, he has written various essays in anthologies and scientific journals, including on Goethe's Faust and Wilhelm Meister. He is a member of the literary circle "Spree-Athen", the discussion circle "Theophil" in Birkenwerder and the Society for Indo-Asian Art in Berlin. The essay on Persian miniature painting and the architecture of the Mughals: 'Diwan-i-Khas' - the House of the One Pillar Throne of Fatehpur Sikri (Indo-Asian Journal, Berlin 2016-2017) resulted from his occupation with India.
Reinhard Reichstein has lived in Borgsdorf near Oranienburg since 1997, and the extent to which he feels at home there and in the land of Theodor Fontane is underlined by his novel Das Kaffeehaus - eine Liebe in Brandenburg (2019).
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