Magazine
Latest Issue

The pope of literature

Marcel Reich-Ranicki is Germany's most influential critic, who enjoys the authority of a literary lawgiver. Is this because he is a Polish Jew?

Germans call him der Literaturpapst, the pope of literature, but his title might as well be praeceptor Germaniae. Marcel Reich-Ranicki is not merely the most influential literary critic in Germany-the country which created modern criticism-he is also an educator and an impresario of literature; the man who has made housewives read serious novels and poetry. By exploiting the postmodern media, he has enabled millions of ordinary Germans to rediscover the premodern pleasures of the literary imagination. Now, aged 80, his career has been crowned with a quite unexpected success: his autobiography has dominated the bestseller lists in Germany ever since…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect