1920 . stockerau . austria

1991 . psychiatric hospital of gugging . austria

Ernst Herbeck suffered from a  severe congenital palatal problem, seriously affecting his ability to speak despite having been operated several times. His schooling was disrupted because of this but he nevertheless began studying business after college. At the end of the war that seems to have had particularly strong impact on him, he spent a few months at the University Clinic of Vienna, then tried to resume a normal life. Two years later, he was hospitalized again, this time for schizophrenia. Plagued by hallucinations, he felt that people and animals entered his body. In 1946, he was hospitalized in the psychiatric hospital of Gugging, then, fifteen years later, he became resident at the House of Artists, encouraged by Pr Navratil who discovered his talent for writing and proposed to him to write a short poem based on a specific title during each of their encounters. The result is a work of absolute freedom that has found its place in contemporary German poetry. In 1977, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag published the entire poetic production of Ernst Herbeck, Alexanders poetische Texte [The Poetic Texts of Alexander] and in 1999 Residenz Verlag published all of his work, Im Herbst da reiht der Feenwind: gesammelte Texte 1960-1991  [In Autumn, the Fairie Wind Blows: Collected Texts 1960-1991]. There is a French translation under the title 100 poèmes (Harpo &, 2002).