Moritz Rinke

Portrait Moritz Rinke
Moritz Rinke [© Peter Sickert]

Moritz Rinke, born in 1967 in Worpswede, studied applied theater studies in Giessen. He worked for the »Tagesspiegel« as a columnist and reporter from 1994 to 1996. He was twice awarded the Axel Springer Prize and a collection of his texts was published in 2001 as »Der Blauwal im Kirschgarten« [tr: The Blue Whale in the Cherry Orchard].

He debuted as a playwright in 1995 with »Der graue Engel« [tr: The Gray Angel]; his breakthrough came with »Der Mann, der noch keiner Frau Blöße entdeckte« [The Man Who Has Not Yet Discovered a Woman’s Nakedness]. It won the 1997 PEN Club Literature Prize and was nominated for the prestigious Mülheim Playwrights’ Prize along with »Republik Vineta«, which was voted the best German-language play of 2000/01 by »Theater heute«. Rinke’s version of Friedrich Hebbel’s »Nibelungen« premiered in Worms in 2002 and was broadcasted on television. As an actor, he appeared in Max Färberböck’s »September«, which was part of the 2003 Cannes International Film Festival. His 2005 play »Café Umberto«, in which unemployed people occupy a job center and build a new society, was added to school and university curricula. »Wir lieben und wissen nichts« [2012; tr: We Love and Know Nothing], in which smoldering relationship crises escalate into a clash of cultures, has been performed at over fifty stages nationally and internationally.

In 2010, Rinke published his debut novel »Der Mann, der durch das Jahrhundert fiel« [tr: The Man Who Fell Through the Century], in which he tells the story of an unsuccessful Berlin gallery owner who travels to Worpswede to visit his family’s estate, which, along with the life-size sculptures of his sculptor grandfather, is in danger of sinking into the bog. While a construction company works to save the house, the grandson reveals well-kept family secrets in which world and art history are intertwined with the political and social turmoil of the 20th century. According to »Deutschlandfunk«, »The book reads like a walk through the moors along threatening abysses that reveal themselves through funny chuckles.« In »Der längste Tag im Leben des Pedro Fernández García« [2021; tr: The Longest Day in the Life of Pedro Fernández García], Rinke tells the tragicomic story of a postal worker on Lanzarote.

ZDF/ARTE has made a film with Rinke about his life [»Mein Leben – Moritz Rinke«]. He is an active member of the German national team of authors [Autonama], published »Titelkampf« [2008], a collection of soccer stories, and contributed a foreword to the German translation of Valerio Cursio’s »Der Torschützenkönig ist unter die Dichter gegangen. Fußball nach Pier Paolo Pasolini« [2022; tr: The Top Scorer Has Become a Poet: Soccer after Pier Paolo Pasolini]. He was a visiting professor at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig [2009] and a visiting lecturer at the University of Paderborn [2013/14]. His new book, »Unser kompliziertes Leben« [tr: Our Complicated Life] a diary of the years 2020 to 2022, will be published in January 2023. He lives in Berlin.

Date: 2022