Fries’s essays on literature are an expression of his great literary interest, which is not limited to specific epochs or styles. Throughout his lifetime, he devoted his particular attention to Spanish literature..
The almost fifty texts on literature collected in this volume date from the late 1950s to 2014, the year of Fries’s death. They reveal an author who dealt with a wide variety of authors and works, and who never lost his desire to make new literary discoveries, displaying an extraordinary level of literary intuition. Apart from authors such as Daniel Kehlmann, whose debut Fries reviewed with great enthusiasm, or Thomas Pynchon, Fries, who was born in Bilbao, was particularly interested in Spanish literature. This volume shows that his interest was not limited to certain styles or epochs. The texts he examines range from Spanish picaresque novels of the 16th century to Miguel de Cervantes and modernity. The reader encounters the names of well known Spanish and Latin American authors like Federico García Lorca, Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Fuentes, Pablo Neruda or the Nobel prize-winners Octavio Paz and Mario Vargas Llosa.
Fritz Rudolf Fries (1935 – 2014) was a writer and translator. He was born in Bilbao, where he grew up, and then moved to Leipzig with his family in 1942. Throughout his life he was fascinated by Spanish literature, translating texts and writing essays. Fries’s open view of literature also applies to own work, which remained free of the constraints of socialist realism.
Helmut Böttiger, born in 1956, is a writer, literary critic and essayist. He wrote his doctoral thesis on Fritz Rudolf Fries and GDR literature, and works as a literary critic for Deutschlandradio, the Süddeutsche Zeitung and others. In 2013 he was awarded the Leipzig Book Fair Prize for his analysis of the history of Group 47 in the area of non-fiction/essay writing. His most recent publication with Wallstein-Verlag was »Celan am Meer« (2017).