2004

AN -- Biographies


Autorenlexikon 2003/04. P.E.N., a World Association of Writers, Zentrum Deutschland [Directory of Writers 2003/04, P.E.N. German Center]. Ed. Kerstin Dötsch. Wuppertal: Hammer, 2003. 593 p. 18 cm. ISBN 3-87294-931-4: EUR 16 [04-1-032]

This directory of the approximately 700 German authors who are members of P.E.N., the World Association of Writers, provides addresses and brief biographical information, together with a list of selected publications, for each member. There is also a short essay concerning the history of the German section(s) of P.E.N. and its previous presidents in both East and West. Starting with 2001, this encyclopedia has included writers from both the former German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, now blended into one. [sh/ldl]

Scritti storici di donne italiane: bibliografia 1800-1945 [Historical Writings by Italian Women Writers: Bibliography 1800-1945]. Maria Pia Casalena. Firenze: Olschki, 2003. xcviii, 405 p. ill. 24 cm. (Biblioteca di bibliografia italiana, 178). ISBN 88-222-5261-6: EUR 49 [04-1-033]

The entries in this bio-bibliography of 4,915 history-oriented writings by Italian women between 1800 and 1945 are arranged chronologically and are numbered. Subsequent indexes link these publications to specific writers, or group the publications into subject categories (e.g., hagiographies and biographies). There are additional lists of serials and of text collections where some of these women’s publications can be found. There are also geographic indexes, lists of historical societies (organized by provinces in Italy) and lists of publishers. Preferable would have been an alphabetical system of arrangement by author that did not depend so heavily on references to publication numbers. A strength of this work is its provision of bio-bibliographic information on the authors. [sh/ldl]

Wisssenschafterinnen in und aus Österreich: Leben, Werk, Wirken [Women Scientists in and from Austria: Life, Work, Influence]. Ed. Brigitta Keintzel and Ilse Korotin. Wien: Böhlau, 2002. 870 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 3-205-99467-1: EUR 89 [04-1-034]

Edited by historians of science, this “women-specific encyclopedia” includes 342 articles by 92 authors and endeavors to research and describe a marginalized component of Austrian scientific history.

The work is limited to women scholars from the first half of the 20th century and the early post-war period, with a notable gap during the Nazi era. The editors indicate that this gap is due to the banishment of hundreds of women in science and the near total elimination of scientific schools, networks, and institutions. Consequently, most of the scientists included here are either long dead or very elderly. The editors chose to begin with the turn of the 20th century, because this period coincides with the first generation of women scientists who qualified as lecturers and professors at Austrian universities, while others gained acceptance beyond academia. Psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, and applied social researchers represent this latter group.

Leafing through this volume with an eye to the article headings one finds the medical sciences frequently represented, while the natural and cultural sciences are given less representation. The occupational index is not a reliable survey, as it indexes only the specialized professions.

Selection criteria, aside from gender, are not mentioned. What other reasons could there be for including Ingeborg Bachmann in this volume as “Philosopher, Writer” solely on account of concluding her study of philosophy with a dissertation on Heidegger, other than to augment the short list of famous names? On the other hand, the editors push the envelope with brief articles for scientists whose publications end with their dissertation or thesis: A. Brind, B. Buschbeck, and W. Vonach, for example. The forward promises that “the emphasis of the entries rests upon a comprehensive description of the scientific career and an interpretation of the person’s works,” but authors are given no guidelines for structuring their articles, to say nothing of criteria for including literature, so that bibliographical references range from extensive, structured indexes of publications and secondary literature (for example, M. Dietrich) to the abbreviation of a dissertation title.

Many notable women have emerged since this work was completed and could not be included here. These names will be considered for inclusion in future projects that, like the current volume, will form part of biografia: Datenbank und Lexikon österreichischer Frauen [Biographical Database and Dictionary of Austrian Women], edited by Ilse Korotin (see http://www.univie.ac.at/biografia or http://www.biografia.at). [sh/jmw]

Biographische Materialien aus der Presse Ostmitteleuropas nach 1945: Kurzbeschreibung ausgewählter Bestände des Pressearchivs im Herder-Institut [Biographical Materials from the East-Central European Press After 1945: Brief Description of Selected Holdings of the Press Archive of the Herder Institute]. Marburg: Herder-Institut. 24 cm. (Sammlungen des Herder-Instituts zur Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung, …). (Herder-Institut e.V., Gisonenweg 5-7, D-35037 Marburg, fax [49 6421] 184 139) [04-1-036]

A. Polen [Poland]. Ed. Karl von Delhaes.

Vol. 3. M-R. 2004. xli, 342 p. (… , 10). ISBN 3-87969-316-1: EUR 35

The worthy project of making the Herder Institute’s gigantic archive of press clippings accessible to outside users has lost considerable momentum since volumes 1 and 2 were released in 1998 and 1999 (see RREA 6:312). The preface to the current volume neither explains this delay nor gives an indication when the fourth (and presumably final) volume covering Poland will be published. The organization and format of the entries have not changed from the earlier volumes. The glossary of abbreviations used, however, has not been carried over; only those appearing for the first time in volume 3 are listed, forcing users of this volume to resort to volume 2 (or the Institute’s web site) to decode some abbreviations. Also, the recent reform of local jurisdictions in Poland is not reflected in the geographical index.

Nevertheless, the entries remain first-rate sources of succinct information about notable people in postwar Poland. As they now are also available on the internet, the Institute may want to consider saving time and money by focusing on that medium of publication for the rest of the project. [sh/gw]

Out!: 800 berühmte Lesben, Schwule und Bisexuelle [Out!: 800 Famous Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals]. Axel Schock and Karen-Susan Fessel. 5th ed. Berlin: Querverlag, 2004. 320 p. 24 cm. ISBN 3-89656-111-1: EUR 19.90 [04-2-413]

Despite the anti-gay sentiment by Italian politician Rocco Buttliglione, it is a sign of the times that more and more men and women do not mind “outing” themselves or being “ outed,” since they no longer run the risk of being stigmatized by society on account of their sexual orientation. The first edition of this work, published in 1997, listed only 500 names, but with each new edition, the number has increased. Now, it has reached 800. Beginning naturally with Sappho, homosexuals from all time periods are included; however, the main focus is on the 20th century and its contemporaries. Short biographical entries from earlier editions have been retained as well as updated and expanded (e.g., Guido Westerwelle, leader of the Free Democrats), or in some cases deleted. For example, Madonna no longer has her own article and is now only mentioned in other articles and listed in the index. References to a person’s work as well as to secondary sources are included for many articles. [sh/bwv]

Zeitgeschichte in Lebensbildern: aus dem deutschen Katholizismus des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts [Contemporary History in Biographies: German Catholics of the 19th and 20th Centuries]. Ed. Jürgen Aretz. Münster: Aschendorff. 23 cm. Vols. 1-8 published by Matthias-Grünewald-Verlag, Mainz. [04-2-415]

Vol. 11. 2004. 358 p. ill. ISBN 3-402-06123-6: EUR 20.40

Since volume 7 (1994), the volumes in this set have been appearing regularly every two to three years (for volume 9, see RREA 6:43). Each one contains 18 or 19 biographies of prominent Catholics from the 19th and 20th centuries. Included in the present volume are mainly 20th-century Catholics who either resisted National Socialism or helped shape postwar politics in the two Germanys, along with a few intellectuals and artists; just two are women. Brief bibliographies of works and sources are included in the appendix; the name index includes persons both treated and mentioned in the text. A cumulative index covering the first ten volumes was appended to volume 10, but it would be much more useful if an updated cumulative index were included in each volume. [sh/hh]


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Last update: July 15, 2007 [TB]
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