The University of Queensland School of Languages and Cultures, in collaboration with the Twelfth Night Theatre, invites you and a guest to celebrate the launch of The Greater Hope, translated by Dr Geoff Wilkes.

Join us at this special event where guest speaker Geoff Wilkes will discuss his translation strategies. Excerpts from the novel will be dramatized in German and in English.

Refreshments will be served before and after the presentation.

Registration: 4.00pm

Presentation and reception: 4.30pm - 7pm


Please register online by 5 September. 


The University of Queensland Art Museum
James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre (Building 11)
University Drive 
The University of Queensland 

A campus map is available herePaid casual parking is available on campus. The closest parking to the venue is on Sir William McGregor Drive. Further details about parking on campus, including maps can be found here.

Further details

Publishing in 1948 and writing in the latter years of Austrian Nazi occupation, a young woman, Ilse Aichinger, wrote of an imprisonment and brutality transcended by a greater hope. She did not name perpetrators or describe topography. Compelled by the image of her beloved Grandmother, Aunt and Uncle in a cattle wagon surrounded by jeering crowds and aware that their destination was a concentration camp (Minsk), the memory of her grandmother’s averted face has motivated and permeated the oeuvre of an author who would become one of the greatest European post-war writers. Her seminal novel has now been translated for the English speaking world by UQ Germanist, Dr Geoff Wilkes.

Ilse Aichinger was born to a Jewish mother in Vienna in 1921. Prior to 1939 her Aunt Klara waited for the family in London, but only Ilse’s twin sister, Helga, escaped on the last Kindertransport. Ilse remained. She survived, and published The Greater Hope in 1948. The novel reflects Ilse Aichinger’s experience of anti-Semitism as a young woman in Nazi Austria, and through her extraordinary use of language the author not only captures the horror and the humanity of that experience, but also transcends it to offer a profound meditation on a greater hope, the metaphysical perspectives of which surpass the physical trajectories of devastation, deportation and death. Many authors have endeavoured to determine the sense and meaning of Aichinger’s works, which are often considered complex and multi-layered. This may explain why one of Austria’s most gifted authors has not yet received the international recognition she deserves. The Afterword to this new translation creates new perspectives on The Greater Hope by means of an original and in-depth analysis of interviews given by Aichinger throughout her life. The Coda to this edition consists of a commentary upon and quotations from a previously unpublished letter from Ilse Aichinger in Vienna to her twin sister, Helga, in London for Christmas 1945.

Book Launch: The Greater Hope, Ilse Aichinger

Thu 8 Sep 2016 4:00pm


University of Queensland Art Museum