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German writer given Frankfurt Fair peace prize

German sociologist and writer Wolf Lepenies received the top award of the Frankfurt Book Fair on the final day of the event.

india Updated: Oct 10, 2006 13:40 IST

A leading German sociologist and writer received the top award of the Frankfurt Book Fair on the final day of the event today, in recognition of his "intellecual integrity."

The jury that selected the winner of the annual Frankfurt Booksellers Peace Prize lauded Wolf Lepenies, as an "academic writer, descriptive biographer, stylized essayist," awarding him the prize for promoting cultural exchange, especially with countries in eastern Europe.

Lepenies told reporters that he was surprised that he had been selected for the prize, but said he was accepting it also on behalf of his colleagues in the field of sociology.

"I, personally, would never have come across the idea of using the word 'freedom' to describe my work," Leeniesp told a news conference on Friday.

Among Lepenies' most important publications are Melancholy and Society and Between Literature and Science: The Rise of Sociology. His most recent work, The Seduction of Culture in German History examines the precarious relationship between politics and culture in Germany from the 18th to the 20th centuries.

Previous winners of the USD 32,00 award include outspoken Turkish author Ohan Parmuk, last year, Vaclav Havel, Assia Djebar, Susan Sonnag and Juergen Habermas. The prize was first awarded in 1950.