Michael Ende in Italien (Michael Ende in Italy)

Exhibition catalogue, German and Italian

Ende spent 15 years of his life in Italy. His move in 1970 was de facto a kind of emigration. The author, who was extremely successful in Germany, had been accused of a lack of social criticism by the cultural critics of 1968 and had been relegated to the realm of fantasy as an "escape writer". After numerous hostilities, Ende therefore left Germany in anger. He moved with his wife Ingeborg Hoffmann to Genzano di Roma, about 30 kilometres south of Rome. The artistic diversity and tolerance that prevailed in Italy fascinated him and stimulated him in his work. Many of his masterpieces were created here. In Italy, his ideas matured, which then also found such favour in Germany that the author became a cult figure and The Neverending Story one of the most successful German books of the post-war period. Only after the death of his wife in 1985 did he return to Germany, where he himself died in 1995.

In 2009, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of his birth, the Casa di Goethe gave a detailed insight into the author's formative Italian years with the exhibition "Michael Ende in Italy". With texts, photos and original documents, the exhibition told Ende's life as the story of an artistic self-discovery. Highlights of the exhibition were original manuscripts from the holdings of the German Literature Archive Marbach (Momo and The Never-Ending Story) as well as personal objects of the writer. Ende's reception in Italy, the tradition of the fantastic in Rome, his relationship to Italian and German-Roman artistic circles as well as his friendship with Angelo Branduardi were thematised, as well as his formative relationship with his father, the surrealist painter Edgar Ende. Special attention was also paid to the theme "Michael Ende and Music".

This bilingual catalogue was published to accompany the exhibition.

Original Edition

  • Editor: Ursula Bongaerts
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 104
  • Year of publication: 2009
  • Publisher: Casa di Goethe