"You know, dear Mr. Kappus, but we were happy to receive this letter from you. News that I give real and clear as again, I look good and, as I reflected more on their the more I felt really good. " With these sentences begin the 10th - and last - letter by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) addressed in 1908, the second day of Christmas, of Paris, a young poet in Timisoara.
Today almost forgotten, it is called Franz Xaver Kappus. He was born on 17 May 1883 in Timisoara and dared to send his first literary creations Rilke, waiting for the verdict master. Kappus sent Rilke's letters between 1903 and 1908 were lost. They kept only Rilke's responses (two letters from France, five in Italy, two in Sweden and one of Worpswede), appeared later in the book "Letters to a young poet". Since 1929, the volume of the 10 letters was reprinted several times, reaching a circulation of over 450,000 copies. In 1977 appeared an edition in Romanian Timisoara Facla House, translated by Ulvine and John Alexander, with an afterword by Andrew A. Lillin (1915-1985, known under the name of Andreas A. Lillin, as representative of "socialist realism" in ESPLA Lillin published in 1957, the controversial novel "the trend" "Jetzt, da das Korn gemahlen" - "Now when the wheat was ground").
Because of Rilke's letters, Kappus entered literature. Paradoxically, however, almost no one knows who was actually the recipient of the famous letters. Before the start of World War Kappus already published several poems tributary stream media expressionist Timisoara. As a military officer became newspaper "Belgrader Nachrichten" in the early 1920s and was editor of "Deutsche Wacht" Timisoara (which later was called "Banater Tagblatt"). Also, work the most important newspaper in the capital of Banat, "Temeswarer Zeitung", and the "Swabian Volkspresse". During Timisoara, has published several short stories, sketches and novels. The most important was writing, published in 1921, is the novel "Die im Peitsche Antlitz" ("whip in cheek"). This mini-novel is still more than a mere "paper era" because Kappus reports about the fate of a man stigmatized because of the fact that her features are distorted by a smile forever. Action novel, translated into Hungarian, is going to Timisoara, although the author makes no concrete reference to the locality mentioned. Disappointed provincial atmosphere, Kappus is decided to leave Romania in 1925, settled in Berlin. Here many Roman public entertainment, becoming a very popular author. Almost all writings appeared in Berlin's Kappus no literary pretensions. Only in 1935 is, in the novel "um Brautfahrt Lena" ("spoken for Lena"), the Romanian themes, trying to process the experiences gained in Timisoara.
Based on the 1922 novel, "Der Rote Reiter" ("Red Rider"), Kappus wrote the screenplay for the movie namesake, conducted in 1934-35 by German director Rolf Randolf. Also, Kappus has worked as a songwriter. The text of a German known hits, "Mamatschi", music by Oskar Schima, belongs to all of Kappus.
After the Second World War, the writer is founder of the Free Democratic Party in Berlin. Still publish one novel, "Flucht in die Liebe" ("Refuge in love"), which tackles the theme of antifascist resistance.
In Romania after the war, Franz Xaver Kappus was reissued just in time "Meltdown". It is remarkable that he became editor of Kappus former security officer Heinz Stanescu (1921-1994), who in 1950 played a key role in repressive actions directed against the Catholic Church. (Data output Heinz Stanescu of Security as an active officer is not known. He later became a literary critic, surveying ideological German literature in Romania. He edited the writings of the interwar period, for example Kappus's novel "Die lebenden Vierzehn" - "The 14 survivors "Kriterion Publishing, Bucharest, 1970, and satirical stories of the same writer," Der Wunderleutnant "-" Lieutenant miracle "Kriterion Publishing, Bucharest, 1971. The volume of literary studies" Berichte "-" Reports ", Publishing House for literature, Bucharest, 1967, Stanescu analyzes German literary creation in Romania of the ideological perspective of socialist realism. In 1976, Stanescu RF emigrated to Germany. He died during a trip to France, on May 13, 1994.)
Franz Xaver Kappus died on October 9, 1966, in Berlin. Unfortunately, the celebration of 40 years from his disappearance went unnoticed.
William Totok, Berlin