Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Rosendorfer, Herbert

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(1934-2012) German judge and writer whose first novel, Der Ruinenbaumeister (1969; trans Mike Mitchell as The Architect of Ruins 1992 UK), is a complex tale, seemingly in the style of the Arabian Nightmare. Its protagonist descends through baroque convolutions of plot into the dream Underworld of the eponymous Magus, where he meets the Wandering Jew and many other figures. Dark hints of German history bulge ominously into the knots of interrupted Story-within-story that comprise the bulk of the text; but eventually the stories are concluded (which differentiates the text from the ultimate entrapment implied by the Arabian Nightmare mode), and the protagonist does make a kind of escape. Deutsche Suite (1972; trans Arnold Pomerans as German Suite 1979 UK) anatomizes post-Nazi German history through the life of a man understood to be an Ape because his mother had slept with one. Briefe in die deutsche Vergangenheit (1983; trans Mike Mitchell as Letters Back to Ancient China 1996 UK) takes a satiric look at present Germany through the eyes of a 10th-century Chinese mandarin. Stephanie, oder Das vorige Leben (1987; trans Mike Mitchell as Stephanie, or A Previous Existence 1995 UK) is a compact, funny, moving Timeslip tale whose contemporary protagonist enters a life two centuries earlier, with disturbing consequences. Much of HR's other fantasy has not been translated; it includes Grosses Solo für Anton ["Big Solo for Anton"] (1976), whose protagonist becomes the last human alive after a nuclear Holocaust. [JC]

Herbert Rosendorfer


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.