Whether in his fiction or in long conversations with his friends, Michael Ende spent his life finding ways to combat the threat of meaninglessness. In The Neverending Story, the ‘Nothing’ threatens to overwhelm the realm of Phantásia, and Ende perceived a similar danger in modern society. In his view, the task of art was to make the world an easier place to live in, since he believed that the power to give the world new meaning was held by art and culture alone. As a writer he found himself duty-bound to address the three big questions that every individual must confront: where do I come from, who am I, and where am I going.
The biographical section of this website tells of Michael Ende’s quest for the magic word, describing how the author regarded his literary role and how his writing developed over time. The intention is to provide an insight into the literary vision and life of a man whose novels conquered the hearts of millions of readers. For Michael Ende, art and life were inseparable, for he inhabited two worlds at once: our world and the realm of Phantásia.