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Botho Strauß is a German playwright, novelist and essayist.
Botho Strauß's father was a chemist. After finishing his secondary education, Strauß studied German, History of the Theatre and Sociology in Cologne and Munich, but never finished his dissertation on Thomas Mann und das Theater. During his studies, he worked as an extra at the Munich Kammerspiele. From 1967 to 1970, he was a critic and editorial journalist for the journal Theater heute (Theater Today). Between 1970 and 1975, he worked as a dramaturgical assistant to Peter Stein at the West Berlin Schaubühne am Halleschen Ufer. After his first attempt as a writer, a Gorky adaptation for the screen, he decided to live and work as a writer. Strauß had his first breakthrough as a dramatist with the 1977 Trilogie des Wiedersehens, five years after the publication of his first work. In 1984 he published his important work Der Junge Mann (The Young Man, translated by Roslyn Theobald in 1995).
With a 1993 Der Spiegel essay, "Anschwellender Bocksgesang" ("Swelling He-Goat Song"[N 1]), a critical examination of modern civilisation, he triggered a major political controversy as his conservative politics was anathema to many.
In his theoretical work, Strauß showed the influence of the ancient classics, Nietzsche, Heidegger as well as Adorno, but his outlook was also radically anti-bourgeois.
His work as a writer has been recognized with numerous international awards and his dramas are among the most performed in German-language theatres.
Strauß presently lives in Berlin.
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