Alexander Lernet-Holenia


Short biography

Quelle: "Internet Movie Database"

The author of 25 plays, 24 novels, many short stories, novellas, poetry collections, essays, biographies, translations, radio and television plays, Alexander Lernet-Holenia ranks among the most important of 20th century Austrian authors. A former imperial officer and nobleman, his work focuses on the related concepts of Austrian national identity, Central European culture, and monarchy. Throughout his wide ranging oeuvre, he conveys the image of an Austria haunted by the social and political elements of the lost Austro-Hungarian Empire. Lernet-Holenia avoided active political involvement in interwar Austria, but his novels and novellas of that period display a longing for the Hapsburg world and warn of Communism and Nazism. Except for his popular stage comedies and his poetry, much of his work was banned after the 1938 Anschluss of Austria to Nazi Germany. Having been wounded serving as an officer in the German army during the 1939 attack on Poland, Lernet-Holenia removed himself from service, worked briefly in the film industry in Berlin (where his original concept for Große Liebe, Die (1942) was turned in to one of the greatest successes in German cinema), and then withdrew to his home in St. Wolfgang (Austria). There he wrote, "Mars im Widder, " (1941) considered to be the only Austrian resistance novel published (and immediately ordered withdrawn and distroyed by Nazi Propaganda Minister Goebbels) in the Third Reich. Following the war, Lernet-Holenia married Eva Vollbach, converted to Catholicism, and explored the Austrian role in the 1938 Anschluss in his prose. His critical sympathy for the Old Order and provocative mocking of postwar Austrian society and politics also reflect the ongoing personal identity crisis of the author. Lernet-Holenia's works continue to offer potent subject matter for international film and television.