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Page history last edited by Lawrence Glatz 6 years, 6 months ago


Böll's Foreign Travels


The following selection is made in accordance with the author's own

records entered in his notebooks, which list a total of 602 journeys

made between 1955 and 1985, many of them with his wife and his sons.


1955 Great Britain October (England: London - Leicester - Newcastle -

Oxford; Scotland: Aberdeen - Glasgow)


1956 Ireland summer months (tour of Ireland: Keel - Limerick - Killarney

- Dublin - Keel)


Denmark/Sweden October (Copenhagen - Stockholm - Uppsala - Linköping -



Poland December (Warsaw - Cracow)


1957 Denmark August/September (Copenhagen and on the coast)


Belgium October (Brussels - Bruges - Antwerp - Ghent)


1958 France/Ireland summer months (Rouen - Paris - Le Havre - Fishgard -

Kilkenny - Keel)


Netherlands December (Utrecht - Amsterdam - Rotterdam)


1959 Belgium April (Antwerp - Ghent - Brussels)


1960 Ireland May - September (Dublin - Dugort - Cork - Limerick -



1961 Czechoslovakia May (Prague, Brno)


Italy/Jugoslavia June - August (Verona - Bologna - Siena - Rome (guest

of honour at the Villa Massimo) - Venice - Rijeka - Ljubljana - Trieste)


1962 Ireland July - August (Belfast - Achill Island - Dublin)


USSR September/October (Moscow - Leningrad)


1963 Ireland April - September (Dublin - Dugort)


1964 France March/April (Marseille)


Ireland July - October (Achill Island)


Netherlands December (The Hague - Amsterdam - Delft)


1965 Ireland April/May (Dugort)


USSR July/August (Moscow - Leningrad - Riga)


1966 Netherlands/Belgium January (The Hague - Bruges)


Ireland July/August (Dugort)


USSR September/October (Moscow - Leningrad - Tbilisi)


1967 Italy June (Rome - Siena)


Austria July (Vienna)


Ireland July - September (Dugort)


1968 Czechoslovakia August (Prague, with son René, at the time of the

invasion of the country by the forces of the Warsaw Pact)


1969 Greece/Israel May - June


Italy September - October (Elba - Florence - Pisa)


1970 USSR March - April (Moscow)


Italy October (Rome - Naples)


Netherlands December (The Hague)


1971 Austria/Hungary May (Vienna - Budapest - Vienna)


Ireland August/September (Dublin - elected President of the

international PEN Club in Dun Laoghaire on 29 September - Dugort)


USA October - December (New York - San Francisco - San Diego)


1972 USSR February/March (Moscow - Leningrad - Tbilisi - Yalta - Moscow)


Italy/Greece/Israel October/November (Rome - Athens - Jerusalem - Sinai)


Sweden/Denmark December (Stockholm: conferment of the Nobel Prize -



1973 Italy December (Sicily: Taormina - Syracuse - Catania)


Ireland/Great Britain November/December (Dublin: honorary doctorate of

Trinity College, Dublin - Achill - Birmingham - London)


1974 Austria/Jugoslavia May (Vienna - Belgrade - Ochrid - Belgrade -



France September (Paris)


Spain October/November (Madrid - Granada)


Israel/Greece December (Jerusalem - Athens)


1975 Denmark February (Copenhagen)


Greece March/April (Corfu)


Netherlands April (Amsterdam)


France/Portugal October/November (Paris - Lisbon)


1976 Switzerland (several annual visits for health reasons until 1985)


1977 France/Switzerland April - May (Metz - Nancy - Belfort - Basle -

Hochwald - Langenbruck - Bärenwil)


Italy December 77/January 78 (Rome - Pompeii - Florence -Assisi - Milan


1978 France March (Paris)


1979 Malta March


USSR July/August (Moscow - Vladimir - Susdal)


Ecuador November 79/February 80 (Quito: operation for a serious vascular

condition in the right leg)


1980/81 Switzerland/France November 80 to February 81 (Basle - Hochwald

- Menton)


1983 Ireland May (Dugort)


1984 France December (Cannes)


1985 Great Britain February (London)


Switzerland/Italy March (Hochwald - Lugano - Ascona)


Netherlands June (Scheveningen)








1954 to 1957: yearly visits lasting several weeks, sometimes months


1958: July and August


1960: May to September


1962: June to August


1963: April to September


1965: April and May


1966: July and August


1967: July to September


1971: August and September


                  Böll was elected President of the International PEN

                  Club at its meeting in Dun Laoghaire.


1973: November and December


1983: May



In his workbook (see p. 49) Heinrich Böll records that during his visits

to Ireland he composed a total of 68 works, the longest of these being

'The bread of our early years' (1955).


An indication of Böll's special relationship with Ireland is provided by

the many Irish works that he and Annemarie translated.


Apart from 'Irish Journal' (1957) and the film 'Ireland and her

Children' (1961), which afford the best-known evidence of his affinity

with Ireland, there have appeared over the years numerous reviews and

essays that complete his picture of Ireland:


The World of Sean O'Casey, on the first performance of 'Red roses for

me' (1957)


On the new translation of Synge, on the occasion of the premiere of

'Playboy of the Western World', newly translated by A. and H. Böll



On Synge 'A True Hero' (1960)


Kennedy, Ireland and the Great Hunger, on Cecil Woodham-Smith, 'The

Great Hunger' (1963)


Brendan Behan, obituary (1965)


Thirteen Years Later, an essay (1967) - published 13 years after Böll's

first visit to Ireland.


Wild Poetry of Curses, on Sean O'Casey's autobiography (1969)


The Causes of the Troubles with Northern Ireland, an essay (1970)



Irisches Tagebuch (Irish Journal)


Published in book form in 1957, its eighteen constituent parts date from

1954 onwards; most had been printed before.  'Irish Journal' has since

become 'required reading' for tourists; by 1991 a million copies of the

paperback edition alone, published by dtv, had been sold.


Böll opens the work with the following sentence:


"This Ireland exists: but whoever goes there and fails to find it has no

claim on the author."



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