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This interview is taken from PN Review 96, Volume 20 Number 4, March - April 1994.

in Conversation with Carl Amery Chris Jenkin Jones

MUNICH 29 OCTOBER 1993

Carl Amery was born in Munich in 1922 and grew up in Bavaria. After active service and internment in an American prisoner-of-war camp he returned to Germany and has lived in Munich with his American wife since 1950. Although he has written seven novels he is perhaps best known as essayist and social critic: the capitulation of German Catholicism to the Economic Miracle, and the refusal of Church, State and cultural institutions to accord the ecological threat adequate attention, are themes that have consistently occupied him. From 1954 until its final meeting in 1967 Amery was a member of Gruppe 47. This loose grouping of writers who, at the invitation of Hans Werner Richter, met yearly to read from their unpublished works, numbered many of those who were to make a mark on post-war German literature. Böll, Grass and Ingeborg Bachmann, amongst others, were recipients of the group's annual prize. In the 1970S and 80S Amery turned increasingly to ecological concerns while, after a fifteen-year pause, beginning to write novels again. In the mid-Seventies he was Chairman of the Verband deutscher Schriftsteller, and from 1988-90 President of the West German PEN. His collected works are published by List Verlag.

Could you begin by giving us some idea of your early life and the environment you grew up in?


In terms of culture it was probably the most conservative environment you could find at that time in Germany. You see ...
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