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Karl Heinz Bohrer

Karl Heinz Bohrer German literary scholar

German literary scholar
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German literary scholar
Countries Germany
Occupations Journalist Author Literary critic Writer Educator
Gender male
Birth 26 September 1932 (Cologne, Cologne Government Region, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)
Star sign LibraLibra
The details

Karl Heinz Bohrer (born 26 September 1932 in Cologne) is a German literary scholar and essayist.

Life and work

Karl Heinz Bohrer received a doctorate from the University of Heidelberg in 1962 with a dissertation about the Philosophy of History of the German Romantics and received his post doctorate lecturing qualifications at Bielefeld University with Die Ästhetik des Schreckens - Die pessimistische Romantik und Ernst Jüngers Frühwerk (The Aesthetics of Terror - The Pessimistic Romantics and Ernst Jünger's Early Work).

From 1968 until 1974 Bohrer was literary editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Partly because of differences of opinion with his successor, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Bohrer went for this paper as a correspondent to England in 1975. He was appointed to the Chair for Modern German Literary History at Bielefeld University. He succeeded Hans Schwab-Felisch in 1984 as editor of Merkur, along with Kurt Scheel since 1991. Bohrer is now emeritus at Bielefeld. Most of Bohrer's output have been (collections of) essays. He also published an autobiography in two volumes: Granatsplitter (Shrapnels) (2012) and Jetzt (Now) (2017).

Bohrer was married to Undine Gruenter until her death in 2002. He now lives in London and is married to Angela Bielenberg (née von der Schulenburg).


  • "The Lost Paradigm: Frederick II, Prussia, and July 20th". Telos 135(Summer 2006). New York: Telos Press.


  • 1978 Johann Heinrich Merck Prize
  • 2000 Lessing-Preis für Kritik (Lessing Prize for Critics)
  • 2002 Gadamer Foundation Professor, Deutscher Sprachpreis (German Language Prize)
  • 2005 Großer Literaturpreis der Bayerischen Akademie der Schönen Künste (Greater Literary Prize of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts)
  • 2007 Heinrich Mann Prize
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