«I am a subject of tradition, and outside of it I cannot exist.» The Appropriation of Tradition in Modern German Language Literature as Exemplified in Botho Strauß. The article traces the changes that have taken place in the poetics of this highly acclaimed author, which constitute a step forward from what was obtaining already. According to it, every artist is caught up in an immense process of receiving and passing on traditions. Beginning at the intertextual level, Strauß proceeds to make a case for meaningful reminiscence. His art of focusing on case histories is directed against the »hegemony of the present» heralded by an enlightenment that is entrapped within its own confines. As a critical commentary on contemporary issues, this thrust in Strauß‘s discourse of origins and traditions in essence takes on an existential dimension that in the end assumes clearly religious character.