Daniel Kehlmann Portrait
© Hartwig Klappert

Guest 2013, 2020.


Ich und Kaminski


Frankfurt a. M., 2003


Die Vermessung der Welt


Reinbek, 2005


Ruhm. Ein Roman in neun Geschichten


Reinbek, 2009


Lob: Über Literatur


Reinbek, 2010




Reinbek, 2013


Du hättest gehen sollen


Reinbek, 2016




Reinbek, 2017

Daniel Kehlmann [ Germany ]

Daniel Kehlmann was born in Munich in 1975 as the son of director Michael Kehlmann and actress Dagmar Mettler, and grandson of author Eduard Kehlmann. He studied philosophy and literature in Vienna at the Kollegium Karlsburg.

In 2005, he published »Measuring the World«, which became an international bestseller that was translated into forty languages. »Fame. A Novel in Nine Episodes«, released in 2009, is a decidedly contemporary text that looks playfully at issues of identity against the background of various dilemmas involving modern means of communication. This episodic novel which is at the same time full of narrative, motivic and intertextual references, was adapted as an ensemble film for the big screen by Isabel Kleefeld that was shown in German cinemas in 2012. The film version of »Measuring« also premiered in the same year, and the script was developed and written by Kehlmann in collaboration with director Detlev Buck. Kehlmann has also lectured on poetry at several academic institutes, among these, Wiesbaden University of the Applied Sciences, Göttingen University, the University of Cologne and New York University. Individual lecture notes were later published in the volume »Diese sehr ernsten Scherze« (tr. This Very Serious Joke, 2007). In the essay collections »Wo ist Carlos Montúfar?« (tr. Where is Carlos Montúfar?, 2005) and »Lob: Über Literatur« (tr. Praise: About Literature, 2010), he provides insights into his work as an author and tells how he assimilates numerous literary references for both explanatory and writing purposes. He has also very recently written texts for the theatre and, in 2011, his play »Geister in Princeton« (tr. Ghosts in Princeton), a dramatic treatment of the life and work of mathematician Kurt Gödel, celebrated its premiere at the Salzburg Festival, before being performed at the “Schauspielhaus” theatre in Graz. His second play »Der Mentor« (tr. The Mentor) had its premiere in November 2012 at the Viennese theatre “Wiener Theater in der Josefstadt” under the direction of Herbert Föttinger. In this piece, Kehlmann condenses the rift between two generations and two oppositional views of literature in a conflict between two authors, and he reveals - not without humour - the destructive energies in artistic creativity. His most recent novel »F« (2013) refers in its enigmatic title, alliteratively so to speak, to the basic themes of falsification and fiction, as well as their mutual immanence. Three figures with family ties to one another become in their relationship to one another the victims of their own lies and deceits. This constellation of figures also serves Kehlmann as the starting point for a philosophical and metafictional examination of the term truth and the relativity of literature.

Daniel Kehlmann has been the recipient of a number of renowned awards, among these the Candide Prize (2005), the literature prize of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Kleist Prize (both 2006) as well as the Thomas Mann Prize (2008). Most recently he was awarded the Nestroy Theater Prize (2012) for his stage debut. Kehlmann lives in Berlin and New York.