English: Issues related to the socio-political role of literature have always been one of the
most important themes in the work of Hans Magnus Enzensberger. His notion
of littérature engagée and its actual impact has changed from being optimistic in
the earlier texts to being more pessimistic in his later work. This change can be
read against the background of certain constants in his oeuvre, especially his view
of literature as being nonconformist. This article aims to describe this change by
referring to a number of relevant texts. In conclusion the role of “context” as a
determining factor for the potential impact of literature is considered.