Luxembourg literature

The literature of Luxembourg is little known beyond the country's
borders, partly because Luxembourg authors write in one or more of the
three official languages (French, German and Luxembourgish), partly
because many works are specifically directed to a local readership.
Furthermore, it was not until the 19th century that the literature of
Luxembourg began to develop in parallel with growing awareness of the
country's national identity following the Treaty of Paris (1815) and the Treaty
of London (1867).[1]
Yolanda of Vianden
Codex Mariendalensis (c. 1310)
There is one historic work which has recently gained a
place in Luxembourg literature. The Codex Mariendalensis,
a manuscript from the beginning of the 14th century, tells
the story of Yolanda of Vianden. Discovered in
Ansembourg in November 1999, it is believed to be the
work of Brother Hermann von Veldenz, who wrote the
story of Yolanda's life after her death in 1283. It consists of
5,963 lines of rhyming couplets in the distinctive Moselle
Franconian German dialect, which bears close similarities to today's
Luxembourgish. The poem tells how Princess Yolanda gave up the comforts
of her home in Vianden Castle to join the Convent of Marienthal where she
later became the prioress.[2]
19th century
Despite the use of French and German for administrative purposes, it was
Lëtzebuerger Däitsch, now known as Luxembourgish, which was behind the
development of Luxembourg's literature in the 19th century, contributing
much to the consolidation of the national identity.
In 1829, Antoine Meyer published the very first book in Luxembourgish, a
collection of poems titled E’ Schrek op de’ Lezeburger Parnassus (A Step up
the Luxembourg Parnassus). The book contains six poems: a love poem, Uen
d'Christine (Without Christine); a meditation on the romantic subject of night,
D'Nuecht" (The Night); a real-life depiction, Een Abléck an engem Wiertshaus
zu Lëtzebuerg (A Moment in a Luxembourg Inn); and three fables,
D'porzelains an d'ierde Schierbel (The Shard of Porcelain and the Earthen
Pot), D'Spéngel an d'Nol (The Pin and the Needle) and D'Flou an de

Edmond de la Fontaine (1823–1891). was followed by D'Mumm Sèiss (1855). Meyer often personified inanimate objects. Luxembourg The next generation brought three poets who are now considered to be Luxembourg's classical authors. For example. He also wrote several poems and a number of prose works about Luxembourg and its people. another poet. better known by his pen-name Dicks. which was published shortly after his early death in 1855. Published in 1872. Marc Bruno.[4][5] His contemporary. which contributed much to promoting the Luxembourgish language among its inhabitants. Félix Thyes (1830–1855) wrote the first Luxembourg novel in French. Meyer was to write several more books of Luxembourgish poetry while teaching mathematics at the University of Liège. Michel Lentz (1820–1893).[7] Early 20th century Nikolaus Welter (1871-1951) .[1] While little of note was written in German during this period. the operetta D'Kirmesgäscht (1856) and De Ramplassang (1863).Pierdskrécher (The Fly and the Horse Trough). Renert odder de Fuuss am Frack an a Maansgréisst or simply Rénert the Fox.[3] Monument to Dicks and Michel Lentz on the Place d'Armes. reflecting the failure of the French aristocracy to prevent the French Revolution. is best known for having written Ons Hémécht. is remembered above all for his contributions to the theatre. the wellto-do Miss Needle tries but fails to override the Pin.[6] However. It is interesting to note that while Aesop and La Fontaine built their fables around animals. it was Michel Rodange (1827–1876) who wrote Luxembourg's national epic. Luxembourg's national anthem. profil d'artiste. in D'Spéngel an d'Nol. the satirical work is an adaptation of the traditional Low German fox epic to a setting in Luxembourg with pertinent insights into the characteristics of the local people. the first play to be performed in Luxembourgish. His comedy De Scholtschäin (1855).

Brought up in an Italian immigrant family. he chose French as the language for his works. in the 1970s. contributing much to the development of Luxembourg culture. she turned exclusively to writing poetry in French. Her books have been widely published and translated into several languages.[10] Jean Portante (born 1950) is a successful contemporary poet and novelist.[11] Jean Krier. who addressed Luxembourg issues in his German-language plays including Die Söhne des Öslings (1904) and as a poet in Hochofen (1913). he has also written short stories. screenplays and novels. Guy Rewenig (born 1947) and Roger Manderscheid (1933–2010) . was awarded both the German Chamisso Prise and the Luxembourg Servais Prize in 2011 for his Herzens Lust Spiele. not just in Luxembourg but in the wider French-speaking world. plays and poems. novels. Anise Koltz (born 1928) began her literary career in the 1950s.[8] An important literary figure in the early 20th century was Nikolaus Welter (1871–1951). However. He has also translated the works of Juan Gelman and Gonzalo Rojas into French. writing poetry in German. after the death of her husband who had been tortured by the Nazis. She is now widely considered the country's most important contemporary author.[9] Contemporary literature After a rather quiet period following the Second World War. While primarily known as a poet. as a result of the movement to make Luxembourgish an official language. Koltz has done much to create interest in Luxembourg writers through her annual Journées littéraires de Mondorf (Mondorf Literary Days) which she launched in 1963. a daily column he contributed from 1913 to 1940 to the "Luxembuger Zeitung".Batty Weber (1860–1940) worked both as a journalist and as an author of short stories. she was awarded the Prix Guillaume Apollinaire for Le mur du son. but in the 1980s.[12] Novels in Luxembourgish Luxembourgish literature was long confined to poetry and the theatre. commenting on items of local cultural interest. In 1998. initially writing fairy tales in German and Luxembourgish. One of his most important contributions to Luxembourg's identity was his Abreisskalender or TearOff Calendar. Welter is also regarded as Luxembourg's first literary historian. plays.

Among those published since 1990 are Frascht by Nico Helminger. and a number of novels by Josy Braun including Porto fir d’Affekoten and Kréiwénkel.both wrote novels in Luxembourgish. [13][14] These initiatives led to a wider interest in writing novels in Luxembourgish. considered to be the national literary prize. Manderscheid's book reveals the author's consciousness of language use in Luxembourg. published in 1988.[13] Manderscheid's childhood trilogy Schacko klak. adapting the "stream of consciousness" technique to experiments with the Luxembourgish lexicon.000 copies. Ostensibly the story of Jemp Medinger. it is in fact a critical account of the problems of family life and the authoritarian structures of politics and society. a street sweeper. Angscht virum Groussen Tunn. The title is a play on words reminding the reader of both a top hat (from French) and a military helmet (from German) but it is simply a nickname for the author alluding to his rounded bald head.[15] . by Jean-Michel Treinen. Perl oder Pica by Jhemp Hoscheit. which has been awarded once every three years since 1987 to a Luxembourg author for his entire literary work. Iwwer Waasser by Georges Hausemer. Rewenig's Hannert dem Atlantik (1985) broke new ground as the first novel written in the local language. surprisingly sold 3. describing comical incidents with German soldiers in the war as well as the rather artificial use of French based essentially on the language taught in the classroom. and the Batty Weber Prize. "Schacko klak" is in fact a kind of autobiography told by an outsider.[1] Literature prizes Luxembourg has two major literature prizes: the Servais Prize which has been awarded annually since 1992 to a Luxembourg author for a specific work. His use of Luxembourgish allows him to achieve this most effectively. De papagei um kâschtebam and Feier a flam.

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