Tilman Spengler Portrait
© Hartwig Klappert

Guest 2003, 2004.


Hamburg, 1989

Lenins Hirn
Reinbek, 1991

Die Stirn, die Augen, der Mund
Berlin, 1999

Berlin Verlag
Berlin, 2001

Meine Gesellschaft
Berlin Verlag
Berlin, 2001

Das Glück wartet draußen vor der Stadt
Berlin, 2002

Wenn Männer sich verheben
Reinbek, 2002

Der Maler von Peking
Berlin, 2006

Sind sie öfter hier?: Von der Kunst, ein kluges Gespräch zu führen
Ullstein Verlag
Berlin, 2009

Wahr muss es sein, sonst könnte ich es nicht erzählen: 30 Glücksfälle der Weltliteratur
Ullstein Verlag
Berlin, 2011

Tilman Spengler [ Germany ]

Tilman Spengler was born in Oberhausen in 1947. He studied Sinology, Political Science and Modern History in Heidelberg, Taipeh, and Munich. After completing his doctoral studies he initially worked as a research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Social Sciences in Starnberg. In the early 80s he taught and did research at the Academy of Sciences in Peking and at the Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study) in Berlin.
In addition to his academic work, he has written reports and essays for »Die Zeit«, »Geo«, and »Die Woche«. Since 1980 he has been co-publisher of the »Kursbuch«” Not only has Spengler worked as a writer, essayist, and freelance journalist, but also as a screenplay writer, documentary filmmaker (»Bitter Balkan«, 1999), and as a speechwriter (for the former minister of culture Michael Naumann and the former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder). In 1999 Spengler was the town clerk in Mainz and in 2003 received the Ernst-Hoferichter-Preis for his work. In march 2011 Spengler was meant to accompany the German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle on a journey to China, but due to his open criticism of the Chinese government and a laudatory speech on civil rights activist Liao Xiaobo, he was not allowed to enter Chinese territory.
In 1991 he published his first novel »Lenins Hirn« which was very well received and has to date been translated into 21 languages. The novel is based on historical facts and focuses on the Berliner neurologist Prof. Dr. Oskar Vogt (1870–1959), who with Lenin’s brain, wants to produce physical proof of genius. China, photos, and photos of China are with a wink what »Der Maler von Peking« (1996) and »Die Stirn, die Augen, der Mund« (1999) are about. Here Spengler combines his knowledge of Sinology with a joy for telling stories, thereby bringing to life two different epochs in China. He has a knack for irony and for mixing facts with fiction, which is also what makes his book »Meine Gesellschaft. Kursbuch eines Unfertigen« (2001) a reading experience. It is a type of autobiographical kaleidoscope, which in 62 sections juxtaposes anecdotes and facts, true and made-up experiences. Tilman Spengler takes the reader on a trip through his world – according to the motto that »certain facts are true, because one can only tell them like that and not differently.«
In his book »Sind sie öfter hier?: Von der Kunst, ein kluges Gespräch zu führen«, published in 2009, he deciphers the secrets of intelligent conversation based on literary, historical and political examples. »Wahr muss es sein, sonst könnte ich es nicht erzählen« will be published in September 2011, in which he pays tribute to major authors and chef d’oeuvres of world literature.
Tilman Spengler lives in Ambach at Lake Starnberg and in Berlin.

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