Michael Ende

Michael Ende (1929 - 1995) spent his life searching for the ‘magic word’

Michael Ende was born on 12th November 1929 in Garmisch and died at the age of sixty-five in Stuttgart on 28th August 1995. He was one of the most successful German authors of the post-war period, selling over twenty million books in forty different languages worldwide. His novels such as The Neverending Story, Jim Button, Momo and The Night of Wishes captured the hearts of readers young and old.

Michael Ende was born to Luise Bartholoma (1892 - 1973) and Hamburg painter Edgar Ende (1901 - 1965). Even as a young child, he was influenced by the visionary, surrealistic nature of his father’s artwork, and the imaginary world of painting was as real to him as everyday life.

In Search of the Magic Word

Ende’s quest for the magic word was reflected in his literary endeavour. Through novels, short stories and poetry, Ende strove to guide his readers towards new ways of seeing and experiencing the world. To this end, he believed it was necessary to reconnect the disparate threads of modern life in a new poetic mythology for the contemporary age. In line with the romantic tradition, his quest for the magic word was a search for a story that would conjure the essence of the world as we know it. His attitude, though, was far from schoolmasterly - in keeping with his playful writing, the key to his poetic vision usually lay with the entertainer, the conjurer and joker.