Establishing a new life in Munich wasn’t easy for Michael Ende. Without the companionship of his wife, he contacted old friends and made an effort to meet new people. Literature and art remained the focus of his life.
On 12th June 1985 Michael Ende joined other writers, artists and like-minded people to found a new literary group ‘Der Pagat’ (‘The Joker’). The first meeting took place at a Munich restaurant, the Schwarzwälder, and was attended by Reinhard Low, Ludwig Angerer Senior, Peter Boccarius, Wilfried Hiller, Roman Hocke and Jörg Krichbaum. Low sketched out the first ideas for the collective, which took over a decade to come to fruition. In January 1996 the Centre for Visionary Arts was founded in Bonn by forty artists and writers including Ludwig Angerer Senior, Bele Bachem, Ernst Fuchs, Gisbert Haefs and Herbert Rosendorfer. By then Michael Ende had passed away.
Soon after the sale of the villa in Genzano Michael Ende was awarded the Friendship Prize of Rome. For Ende, the prize was a final farewell from a past era. In 1986 an anthology of his song texts, Trödelmarkt Träume. Mitternachtslieder und leise Balladen (‘Jumble Sale of Dreams: Midnight Songs and Ballads’), was published by Weitbrecht Verlag.
Meanwhile in Munich, Ende met up with his Japanese translator, Mariko Sato. They had lost touch with one another, but soon became firm friends.