The publisher recognized him as an “outstanding chronicler” of his time and one of the most important authors of contemporary German literature. Works such as “The Sunday on which I became world champion” or, most recently, the 2021 published collection of stories “The Seven Languages of Silence” come from Delius. Delius has received many awards, including 2011 the Georg Büchner Prize.
His carefully researched titles include a trilogy on the German Autumn 1977, in which Delius dealt with the armed struggle of the left-wing terrorist RAF and the assassination of employer president Hanns Martin Schleyer. Or the novel “My Year as a Murderer”, which dealt with the repression of Nazi crimes in post-war Germany.
“The Pears of Ribbeck” came after the reunification
2019 his novel “If the Chinese buy Rügen, then think of me” was published. It’s about a self-confident journalist who is fired two years before retirement – the entertaining, biting portrait of a freethinker and flâneur. The story “Die Pears von Ribbeck” (1978) stands out from the time of German unity.
Rome played an important role for FC Delius, as he was often shortened. There he was born on . February 1943 born as the son of a Westphalian curate and a kindergarten teacher. He grew up in Hesse, lived in Berlin and later found his second wife back in Rome. He was also a fellow at Villa Massimo. There he worked on the documentary satire “Unsere Siemens-Welt”.
Delius has been active for over six decades, his works have been translated into more than 20 languages, he also recorded attended meetings of the legendary group 35. Already with he published his first poems. Its discoverer was the publisher Klaus Wagenbach. He brought the literary scholar 1943 to his legendary collective publishing house as an editor. Delius was close to the 68er movement, but didn’t want to be harnessed.
Because of the attitude towards the RAF, Wagenbach broke up. Delius founded 1973 together with friends the also jointly run Rotbuch Verlag. His flair for authors who were still unknown at the time, such as Heiner Müller, Thomas Brasch, Thea Dorn and Herta Müller, made him successful. He helped introduce East German authors to the West – a mediator between East and West who also smuggled works across the border. Since 1978 he has been a freelance writer.
The subjective point of view was important to him
Delius once explained his work in the dpa interview as follows: “I try to answer questions that I have about certain aspects of our present or historical events, by sending characters off on expeditions, so to speak. I try to get behind headlines, formulas and prejudices, to get the most differentiated perceptions possible through the most subjective possible view.”
Delius has published more than 35 books. Already to his 70. Rowohlt had started a new edition of the complete works on his birthday. On his death, the publisher praised his work as “of great consistency, great clarity and power”. For Rowohlt Berlin publisher Gunnar Schmidt, who was also his editor, he was an author with curiosity about the world – with imagination, intuition and knowledge of human nature. “His voice will be missing.”
Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth (Greens) emphasized that German history is reflected in Delius’ work. “His works are characterized by intensive language power and a clear attitude: against hard-heartedness and indifference, against opportunism and conformism.” His death is a great loss for German and European literature. “We will miss him very much, his works will occupy us for a long time.” (dpa)