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Ingeborg Bachmann Biography | Poet

Photo of Ingeborg Bachmann
Ingeborg Bachmann was born in Klagenfurt, Carinthia on June 25, 1926. She studied philosophy, psychology and German philology in Vienna, and soon published her first short story. Her literary career was enhanced by contact with Hans Weigel (literateur and sponsor of young post-war literature) and the legendary literary circle known as Gruppe 47, whose members also included Ilse Aichinger, Paul Celan, Heinrich Böll, Marcel Reich-Ranicki and Günter Grass.

A job at the radio station Rot-Weiss-Rot enabled Bachmann to obtain an overview of contemporary literature and also supplied her with a decent income, making possible proper literary work. Furthermore, her first radio plays were published by the station.

In 1953, she moved to Rome, Italy, where she spent the large part of the following years working on poems, essays, opera libretti and short stories which soon brought with them international fame and numerous awards. Her relationship with Max Frisch (Swiss author, 1911-1991) took her to Switzerland and bestowed the role of the second protagonist in Frisch's Mein Name sei Gantenbein upon her.

Bachmann's work primarily focuses on themes like personal boundaries, establishment of the truth, and philosophy of language, the latter in the tradition of Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Ingeborg Bachmann died in a Roman hospital three weeks after a fire in her bedroom, on October 17, 1973. The real cause of her death remains unsolved. Rumors have persisted that she did not succumb to the burns but to her long habit of compulsive pill-taking, which was prevented by the stay in hospital.

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