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The late writer Ilse Hellbitch is 100 years old

The late writer Ilse Hellbitch is 100 years old

Viennese Ilse Helbich published her first novel at the age of eighty. I started writing at the age of 65. This Sunday, the former Press columnist celebrates her 100th birthday.

She did not begin writing prose until she was sixty-five. Ilse Hellbitch published her first novel at the age of 80, and her first poem, “I Walk,” at the age of 94. This was followed in 2018 by the State Cultural Prize for Lower Austria, and she bequeathed her literary legacy to the Documentation Center for Literature in St. Pölten. This Sunday, the writer celebrates her 100th birthday.

Vienna City Councilor for Culture Veronika Kaup-Hassler (SPÖ) visited the Jubilee at her apartment in Vienna on Friday and presented her with a gift of appreciation and a medal. “Through your autobiographical literature, you take us, the readers, back to past times, knowledge that is very important for us to understand today,” the city councilor said, according to what was broadcast. “As an acrobat of memory, you extend a strong rope to the past, along which you seem to dance effortlessly.”

Ilse Helbitch wrote columns for “Die Presse”

Ilse Helbich was born on October 22, 1923 in Vienna, where she later studied German. She worked as a journalist on the biography of Ludwig Wittgenstein, and wrote several radio posters for ORF and columns in “Die Presse”. Her late career as an author includes “Schwalbenschrift” (2003), “The Old Days” (2004), and “Iststand.” Seven Stories from the End of Life (2007) and The Outsiders. Stories” (2010).

In her novel The House (2009), she told the story of an old house she bought in the center of Schöneberg am Kamp in 1985 and renovated. The volume “Grenzland Zwischenland” was published in 2012. “Explorations”, careful reports on the radical changes that age brings with it, on life with increasing blindness, on the struggle for mastery of our own word and memory. In “Vinita” (2013), she recalled her childhood in Vienna in several short chapters. In the prose miniatures, images, sounds and smells are evoked from the past, from the screeching of tram brakes to the beating of carpets.

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In 2017, her collection of early and late poetry I Walk was published, which also addresses the increasing immobility and other changes of aging. It was said: What needed to be said has been said. And the other who is now defying words. Deep down there is now a melody that refuses to sing.” But this was not her last word: 2020 collected in the volume “This Side. The Collected Stories is a review of her prose work, in which she also found unpublished material.

“Mind Games About Serenity” at the age of 97

At the age of ninety-seven, she finally published Thought Games About Serenity, in which she brought to light some very dramatic memories: from severe pneumonia when she was four to being stabbed with a large piece of wood when she was thirteen. year. “And I still don’t know if I’ve become a quiet old woman,” she wrote there. “Until now. ‘I’ll stay at home in my serenity, at home in this trust in the life I’m entrusting myself with.'” Elsewhere finally followed last year. “In Dreaming and Searching and Finding” combined memories, self-reflections, philosophical sequences and ” Protocols of scattered thoughts.

Shortly before its centenary, Droschel Verlag has published a new book by Ilse Helbitch: “How Life Works,” collecting three literary stories about a village where “elements of crime appear from time to time, the abyss opens up and newcomers are seen as “exciters.” Riots and wounds” “Thugs or strangers appear.”

A 69-minute film about Ilse Hellebich, commissioned by Literaturhaus Berlin, is available at In “The Old Lady’s Visit,” the author speaks with literary critic Sieglinde Geisel and cultural scholar Simone Schröder. On November 16 (7 p.m.), the Austrian Literary Society in Vienna will honor the anniversary with a first-class event: Burg actress Dorte Liszewski will read, and Franz Schuh will moderate. (Abba)

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