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Press Release 9/2001

25. Januar 2001

Honorary Doctorate for Friederike Mayröcker

The Faculty of Linguistics and Literature will confer a honorary doctor's degree to the Viennese author Friederike Mayröcker for her manifold literary work which encompasses poems, radio plays, novels and a large number of various prose texts. The faculty intends with this to honor the rank of the poetic art created by the author who has been active in literature since the beginning of the fifties and whose works have mostly been published by Suhrkamp in Francfort. The honorary doctor's degree is also an expression of the Faculty's admiration for the challenge Friederike Mayröcker's poetry presents to the study of literature, and of the deep respect for one of the great living woman authors of German language who is attached to the University of Bielefeld also by having belonged for years among the authors of the "Bielefelder Colloqium Neue Poesie".

Laudations on the future bearer of the Faculty's doctor hood say that Friederike Mayröcker has created a work of highest literary rank which "represents a most concentrated form of self-utterance in extremest sharpening of language" and which aesthetically investigates the "how our consciousness and  our existence are shaped by language", venturing beyond fondly accepted literary conventions in doing so. Her work, is is said, is characterized by a plenitude of linkages between everyday experience and mythos, and between language on the one hand, and music and art on the other. Her work is said to be up to the high level discussed in the theory of literature during recent years and even to present yet another decisive challenge to the study of literature, setting standards for what can be termed great poetry today. "Thus, Friederike Mayröcker's poetry, like every literature of high rank, promotes science by disconcerting it in such a way that science can proceed from non-understanding of new texts via first cautious theses towards established, but always tentative knowledge."

The honorary doctorate will be conferred by the Faculty in a public ceremony on February 7th, 2001 at 16.oo hours in the plenary auditorium of the Center for  Interdisciplinary Research of the University of Bielefeld, in the presence of the Rector of the University and of the Dean of the Faculty of Linguistics and Literature. The laudatio will be held by Professor Dr. Jörg Drews of the faculty's department for literary critique and literature.

Press and Information Office, 01-25-2001

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