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Hubert Fichte (March 21, 1935 - March 8, 1986) was a German novelist.

Early life Edit

Hubert Fichte was born on March 21, 1935 in Perleberg Hospital. A few weeks after his birth his family moved to Hamburg-Lokstedt. Fichte's mother worked as stenotypist and he was mostly raised by his grandmother. His father, a Jewish merchant, emigrated to Sweden and Fichte never met him. His parents were not married. As a child Fichte was made believe he was a half-orphan. He received an education as an actor and as a farmer. In the late fifties he worked in Provence, France, as a shepherd for several months. From 1961 on he lived in Hamburg.

Career in writing Edit

In the mid sixties Fichte published his first novels. He then had a regular column called Plattenragout ('Record Ragout') in the magazine konkret. In 1966 he criticized the German police's work in those days in an article called "the police – your friend and aide“: "Shall the baton displace arguments, humour, understanding from the side of the police in this young democracy, burdened with an evil mortgage?" (Konkret, Nr. 8). His main influences were Marcel Proust, Hans Henny Jahnn and Jean Genet. With Genet he did a famous interview. He first met Jahnn in 1949 and Jahnn helped Fichte reveal his homosexuality. Fichte described their friendship in his novel Versuch über die Pubertät (Attempt about the puberty) in 1974.

In the seventies Fichte worked more and more on ethnological research. From 1971 to 1975 he travelled to Bahia (Brazil), Haiti and Trinidad several times. He later described the works based on this travels, like Xango (1976) and Petersilie, (1980) as "Ethnopoesie". With them he created his very own technique of combining science and poetry. A sort of „domestic ethnology“ was done with his St. Pauli interviews like in Wolli Indienfahrer (St. Pauli is a famous low income and subculture district in Hamburg). Fichte's cohabitee (since 1961) Leonore Mau published her photograph volumes Xango and Petersilie at the same time.

In the late sixties Fichte began writing his main work Die Geschichte der Empfindlichkeit ('The History of the Sensibility, or: the Story of the Pettishness) a monumental cycle of novels. His last set of plans showed his intention to write nineteen books, most of them novels, but also some volumes of essays, called “Glossen”. For these “Glossen” he wanted to compile and rewrite much of his journalistic work like radio features, news paper articles and interviews. The novels describe the life of the homosexual writer “Jäcki” and his co-habitee “Irma”, an older woman and photographer. Fichte could not finish the whole cycle. The existing parts were published after his death. They contain 6 complete novels, 2 fragments of novels, 4 “Glossen”-volumes and 5 supplement volumes. The latter contain interviews, articles and features he wanted to use for “Glossen” books, but could not revise them. At least three more novels he had planned are completely missing.

Fichte died of AIDS-related illness in 1986. Since 1995 the city of Hamburg has awarded the Hubert Fichte Prize for extraordinary literary works.

Awards Edit

  • 1963 Julius Campe Stipend
  • 1965 Hermann Hesse Prize
  • 1967 Stipend of the Villa Massimo (Rome)
  • 1985 Alexander Zinn Prize

Selected works Edit

  • 1963 - Der Aufbruch nach Turku (The departure for Turku, novellas)
  • 1965 - Im Tiefstall (In the low barn, novella)
  • 1965 - Das Waisenhaus (The orphanage, novel)
  • 1968 - Die Palette (The Palette)
  • 1971 - Detlevs Imitationen »Grünspan« (Detlevs imitations »verdigris«, novel)
  • 1974 - Versuch über die Pubertät (Attempt about the puberty, novel)
  • 1976 - Xango. Die afroamerikanischen Religionen II. Bahia. Haiti. Trinidad (Xango. The afroamerican religions II)
  • 1978 - Wolli Indienfahrer (Wolli, traveler to India)
  • 1980 - Petersilie. Die afroamerikanischen Religionen IV. Santo Domingo. Venezuela. Miami. Grenada (Parsley. The afroamerican religions IV)
  • 1980 - Psyche. Anmerkungen zur Psychiatrie in Senegal (Psyche. Remarks on the psychiatry in Senegal)
  • 1982 - Zwei Autos für den Heiligen Pedro Claver (Two cars for the holy Pedro Claver)
  • 1985 - Lazarus und die Waschmaschine. Kleine Einführung in die Afroamerikanische Kultur (Lazarus and the washing machine. Small introduction to the afroamerican culture)
  • 1987 - Die Geschichte der Empfindlichkeit (The History of the sensibility / The story of the pettishness)
  • 2001 - Ketzerische Bemerkungen für eine neue Wissenschaft vom Menschen (Heretical comments for a new science on mankind)
  • 2006 St. Pauli Geschichte (St. Pauli story)

Films about Hubert Fichte Edit

  • Hubert Fichte - der schwarze Engel. (- the black angel) documentation, 60 Min., 2005
  • Palette revisited documentation, 67 Min., 2005

External links Edit

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