Georg Stefan Troller  [ Austria, France ]

Biography

Georg Stefan Troller Portrait
© Hartwig Klappert

Guest 2013.

Bibliography

Paris geheim

Artemis & Winkler

Düsseldorf, 2008

Dichter und Bohemiens in Paris. Literarische Streifzüge

Artemis & Winkler

Düsseldorf, 2008

Selbstbeschreibung

Verbesserte und ergänzte Neuauflage

Artemis & Winkler

Düsseldorf, 2009

Vogelzug zu anderen Planeten: Der kleine Prinz und sein Fuchs treffen Pinocchio, Max und Moritz, Lolita und weitere

Karl Rauch Verlag

Düsseldorf, 2011

Das fidele Grab an der Donau. Mein Wien 1918-1938

Artemis & Winkler

Düsseldorf, 2004

Neuauflage bei Ueberreuter

Wien, 2013

Georg Stefan Troller was born in Vienna in 1921. He trained to become a bookbinder. At age 16, just after the November pogroms, he fled from persecution by the Nazis, travelling via Czechoslovakia to France. In his luggage he carried Karl Kraus’ »Die letzten Tage der Menschheit« (Eng. »The Last Days of Humanity«, 1922). He received an American visa in Marseilles in 1941, and was drafted for the US military service in 1943. Together with a team of German-speaking interrogators of prisoners, he returned to Germany as a young man. He subsequently studied English Language and Literature, and Theatre at the University of California in Los Angeles, and began working as a reporter for newspapers and the radio.

Troller was the famous anchorman of the WDR TV programme »Pariser Journal«, of which he produced more than 50 sequels between 1962 and 1971, often ignoring the conventions imposed by the TV station. »This programme made a human being out of me«, he later commented on his work. In a unique, non-conventional and autodidactic way he approached his guests, including numerous celebrities as well as »eccentrics, tramps, and womanizers. In the wild and everything but bourgeois Paris, the living city«, Troller wrote in »Selbstbeschreibung« (1988/2011; tr. Self-description), his autobiography, which he later also turned into a film. By means of urgent, profound, very frank and often existential questions he provoked his counterparts to tell what he in each case considered to be the truth. Equally typical are his sophisticated comments full of irony and humour, which also characterize the series of portraits »Personenbeschreibung« (tr.: Personal description). »An admirer of people, a captivating explorer of man«, and, as many have called him, a »man eater«, which is how the dedicated documentarist labelled himself. He considered his work to be irrevocably connected with the existential fear of persecution. »Longing in an almost grotesque way for German words, all through the years of emigration«, is what he wrote in the collection of portraits titled »Lebensgeschichten« (2007; tr. Life stories).

In addition to numerous documentaries he produced a great number of screenplays, e.g. for Axel Cortis’ trilogy »Wohin und zurück« (tr.: Where and back) and Robert Schindel’s novel adaptation »Gebürtig« (tr.: Born), and published several books about Paris and his encounters with VIPs and artists. He was repeatedly awarded the Grimme Prize and the Golden Nymph of the TV Festival of Monte Carlo. He also received the TV Film Award of the German Academy for Performing Arts, the German Order of Merit, the Axel Corti, the Theodor Kramer and the Erich Salomon Award, and was given a star on the Boulevard of Stars in Berlin. Troller lives in Paris, gives reading in the German-speaking region, and is an active member of the Film and Media Department of the Berlin Academy of Arts.

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