Eduardo Hughes Galeano(Uruquay, 3 September 1940 – 13 April 2015)... was a journalist, writer and novelist. His best-known works are Las venas abiertas de América Latina (Open Veins of Latin America, 1971) and Memoria del fuego (Memory of Fire Trilogy, 1982–6). I'm a writer, the author once said of himself, obsessed with remembering, with remembering the past of America and above all that of Latin America, intimate land condemned to amnesia. In a May 2009 interview he spoke about his past and recent works, some of which deal with the relationships between freedom and slavery, and democracies and dictatorships: "not only the United States, also some European countries, have spread military dictatorships all over the world. And they feel as if they are able to teach democracy"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduardo_Galeano
Günter Grass(Germany, * 16 October 1927 - 13 April 2015)... was a German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, sculptor and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature. He is best known for his first novel, Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum, 1959), a key text in European magic realism. It was the first book of his Danzig Trilogy, which includes Cat and Mouse and Dog Years. His works are frequently considered to have a left-wing political dimension, and Grass was an active supporter of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The Swedish Academy awarded him the Nobel Prize in Literature, praising him as a writer whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history.
IPAInstitute for Political AnalysisProf. Dr. Volker von Prittwitz
Writers and PoliticsChanging roles in public (April 15, 2015)On April 13 two writers died, Eduardo Hughes Galeano and Günter Grass, that are well-known not only for their literary heritage but also for being political persons. That’s an occasion to shortly reflect changing roles of writers in political public.In everyday usage a writer produces literature being a novelist, poet, dramatist. Regarding politics, European writers ever since the 19th century mostly belong to the class of critical intellectuals. Either they immediately participated in writing social (protest) novels addressing social problems, such as poverty, labor conditions, living conditions, the position of women, or ecologic issues. And/or they have proclaimed democratic freedoms - speaking the truth to power, being a witness to persecution and suffering, and supplying a dissenting voice in conflicts with authority. In this role writers traditionally have a separate, perhaps particularly honorable, place in public; their aura of creativity and an almost sacrified capacity for originality seems to accrue to writers in particular. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2014/The Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 was awarded to Patrick Modiano for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.Based on this broad - often international - reputation numerous writers devoted oneselves to such issues as intolerance, the dialogue of cultures, civil strife, freedom of speech and censorship, truth and reconciliation; and the special symbolic role of the writer as an intellectual testifying to a country's or region's experience, thereby giving that experience a public identity forever inscribed in the global discursive agenda. Nobel Prize winners, so amongst many others Gabriel García Márquez, Octavio_Paz , Elie Wiesel, Günter Grass, Rigoberta Menchú, Elfriede Jelinkek, and Patrick Modiano (2014), as well as other great writers, such as Salman Rushdie, Yaşar Kemal, and Eduardo Hughes Galeano, represent this particular public presence.Comparative AspectsIn international and intercultural comparison, indeed, the outstanding public role of writers has to be relativized. While in more traditional societies and particularly in authoritarian or totalitarian regimes writers represent the critical truth more than ever in an outstanding manner, modern societies operate with a whole bunch of functionally specified media of political communication. In these societies writers have already lost their outstanding privileg of being representatives of freedom and critique, and this process of functional differention (between writers, journalists, scientists, and other authors of differentiated political analysis) is further going on. That’s why Günter Grass, who used to be a distinct voice of the Social democratic opposition in the 1960s, did not contribute in a relevant way to the process of political decision-making during the lasts decades. Nevertheless writing keeps being an important medium of political analysis - not in competition with specified tools of other disciplines, but by its own specific ways of analyzing and portraying socio-political reality.
Yaşar Kemal (Turkey, 1923 – 2015) See also Greats...