Setz writes novels, short stories, poems, and plays. It also sends brief verses via Twitter SMS. Through his works he explores areas of human frontiers, and the Academy has justified its decision: “His sometimes disturbing force sticks to the heart of our present, because it follows a deeply human impulse.”
Hesse State Culture Minister Angela Dorn (the Greens) paid tribute to the Vienna-based writer in a welcoming speech. She emphasized without being specific that the culture of debate had suffered in the recent past. Our society needs literature, its strength and its charisma. That’s what Clemens Seitz also stands for,” Dorn added.
Darmstadt literary critic Ijuma Mangold said in his commendation speech that the Academy honors an author who “has moved as far as possible from traditional book culture and reading practices and opened up new forms of media representation”. His books often appeared to function like computer games, “as requests to properly re-enact the intellectual experiences of the world of novels”.
The award has been in place since 1951. The award winners must “distinguish in a special way through their works and works” and “have an essential role in shaping contemporary German cultural life”. Prize winners include Max Frisch (1958), Günter Grass (1965) and Heinrich Böll (1967). Playwright and revolutionary George Buechner (“Woyzeck”) bears the same name. He was born in the Grand Duchy of Hesse in 1813 and died in Zurich in 1837.
In addition to Seitz, the German Academy of Language and Poetry has honored writer and essayist in Vienna Franz Schuh with the Johann Heinrich Merck Prize for Literary Criticism and Essay. German church historian Hubert Wolf was awarded the Sigmund Freud Prize for Scientific Prose.
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