23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023
Portrait Daniel Kehlmann
© Ali Ghandtschi

Daniel Kehlmann

Daniel Kehlmann was born in Munich in 1975 as the son of director Michael Kehlmann and actress Dagmar Mettler, and grandson of author Eduard Kehlmann. He studied philosophy and literature in Vienna at the Kollegium Karlsburg.
In 2005, he published »Die Vermessung der Welt« (Eng. »Measuring the World«, 2006) which became an international bestseller that was translated into forty languages. In 2009, Kehlmann released »Ruhm. Ein Roman in neun Geschichten« (Eng. »Fame: A Novel in Nine Episodes«, 2010), a decidedly contemporary text that looks playfully at issues of identity against the background of various dilemmas involving modern means of communication. This episodic novel which is at the same time full of narrative, motivic, and intertextual references, was adapted as an ensemble film for the big screen by Isabel Kleefeld and was shown in German cinemas in 2012. The film version of »Measuring« also premiered in the same year, and the script was developed and written by Kehlmann in collaboration with director Detlev Buck. Kehlmann has also lectured on poetry at several academic institutions, among these, Wiesbaden University of the Applied Sciences, Göttingen University, the University of Cologne, and New York University. Individual lecture notes were later published in the volume »Diese sehr ernsten Scherze« (tr: This Very Serious Joke, 2007). In the essay collections »Wo ist Carlos Montúfar?« (tr: Where is Carlos Montúfar?, 2005) and »Lob: Über Literatur« (tr: Praise: About Literature, 2010), he provides insights into his work as an author and tells how he assimilates numerous literary references for both explanatory and writing purposes. He has also written texts for the theatre and, in 2011, his play »Geister in Princeton« (tr: Ghosts in Princeton), a dramatic treatment of the life and work of mathematician Kurt Gödel, celebrated its premiere at the Salzburg Festival, before being performed at the Schauspielhaus theatre in Graz. His second play »Der Mentor« (tr: The Mentor) premiered in November 2012 at the Wiener Theater in der Josefstadt under the direction of Herbert Föttinger. In this piece, Kehlmann condenses the rift between two generations and two oppositional views of literature in a conflict between two authors, and he reveals – not without humour – the destructive energies in artistic creativity. The novel »F« (2013) refers in its enigmatic title, alliteratively so to speak, to the basic themes of falsification and fiction, as well as their mutual immanence. Three figures with family ties to one another become in their relationship to one another the victims of their own lies and deceits. In »Tyll« (2017; Eng. 2020), Kehlmann resurrects a legendary historical figure – Tyll Ulenspiegel – and a world that has come apart at the seams. The vagabond, showman, and provocateur comes into conflict with the church at the beginning of the 17th century and wanders through the country devastated by the religious wars, encountering many fates on his way, which condense into an epic of the Thirty Years’ War. In 2020, the English translation was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize.
Daniel Kehlmann has been honoured with numerous prestigious awards, including the Candide Prize (2005), the Literature Prize of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Kleist Prize (both 2006), the Thomas Mann Prize (2008), the Nestroy Theater Prize (2012), the Friedrich Hölderlin Prize of the City of Bad Homburg (2018), and the Schubart Literature Prize (2019). Kehlmann lives in Berlin and New York.


Ich und Kaminski
Frankfurt a. M., 2003
Die Vermessung der Welt
Reinbek, 2005
Ein Roman in neun Geschichten
Reinbek, 2009
Lob: Über Literatur
Reinbek, 2010
Reinbek, 2013
Reinbek, 2017
Mein Algorithmus und ich
Stuttgarter Zukunftsrede
Stuttgart, 2021