Rainer Brambach – A Biography
This unusual Swiss artist’s biography is marking the 100th anniversary of Rainer Brambach’s birth. It is not only knowledgably researched but also entertainingly presented and featuring a picture section. At his death in 1983, the poet Rainer Brambach left behind some 140 poems and two dozen short stories – not a large body of work, but an outstanding, very distinct and refreshingly unacademic one. Deported from Switzerland, deserted from the Reich Labour Service and eventually arrested in Switzerland, the former painter, decorator and later gardener was an exceptional phenomenon in the country’s post-war literary scene. He reached his creative apex in the 1950s and 60s, when his poems appeared regularly in the prestigious literary journal Akzente – alongside the work of Enzensberger, Bachmann, Celan, Canetti and other great names of the era. Brambach was also a very close friend to his mentor, the poet Gunter Eich, his wife Ilse Aichinger and the writer and publisher Hans Bender. Franziska Schurch and Isabel Koellreuter have sifted through memories of colleagues and fellow travellers, archives and Rainer Brambach’s literary output. The result is a multi-layered and fascinating biography of an eloquent Swiss poet’s unusual life.