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Wolfgang Koeppen

Feuilletons - Complete Works in 16 Volumes. Volume 13

Edited by Jörg Döring
(German title: Werke in 16 Bänden)
ca. 700 pages
Clothbound
2018
Wolfgang Koeppen
Foto: Wolfgang Koeppen
© Isolde Ohlbaum

Wolfgang Koeppen was born on June 23rd, 1906 in Greifswald and died on March 15th, 1996 in Munich.

After spending eleven years in Ortelsburg (East Prussia), he returned to Greifswald in 1919. Due to financial reasons he had to leave grammar school and change to a lower secondary school, which he left without obtaining a diploma. After that, he dabbled in many different professions: he worked in a bookshop, and in Greifswald's city theatre. As a commis chef he went to Sweden and Finland; in Wurzburg he worked as a dramaturge. In 1927 he settled in Berlin, where he began to work as an editor at the Berliner Börsen-Courier in 1931. He stayed there for two years. He wrote reportages, for the feuilleton, and started on his first literary works.

His first novel, A Sad Affair, was published in 1934. That same year he emigrated to the Netherlands, which is where he began writing the novel The Jawang-Society, which was to remain unfinished. In 1935, the novel The Wall Is Shaking was published but hardly received any recognition. Koeppen returned to Germany in 1938, started working for the Bavaria Movie Corporation in 1941, and moved to Munich in 1945. He published Jacob Littner's Notes From A Ditch anonymously in 1948. He agreed to have the book appear under his name only in 1992.

In 1951, 1953 and 1954 three novels were published that are regarded as the most accurate description of the atmosphere of the republic under Konrad Adenauer: Pigeons on the grass, The Hothouse and Death In Rome. Koeppen's To Russia And Other Places, Travel To America and Journeys to France created high regard for travel literature in Germany.

Rights available

About

Wolfgang Koeppen once stated that no bibliography could ever exist that drew up a comprehensive list of all the newspaper contributions issuing from his pen. Jörg Döring has refuted this pessimism with this volume of the Complete Works. The complete overview of the feuilleton pieces is the result of a meticulous autopsy of almost every publication mouthpiece where Koeppen had the opportunity to write, they were brought together in their entirety for the first time and published in this single volume.

Their commented publication brings to light an iconic author particularly of the Thirties, who would take on (almost) anything, if appropriate commissions were offered: short submissions in a column entitled “Wit”, some better than others; film and book reviews, accounts of theatre performances as well as general observations on culture and the everyday life. They reveal for the first time the writer as a budding young journalist. His writing shows an omnipresent curiosity, a keeping up with events of the day, political and cultural, reproducing them as newsworthy copy.

Simultaneously, as an analyst of his times, Koeppen possessed, even as a newcomer, an infallible sense for those events that would become symbols of the day and signs of what was to come.

Other publications

Werke in 16 Bänden/Youth (2016)

Sold to:

English world rights (Dalkey Archive), France (Hachette); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Russia (Progress), Netherlands (Querido), Japan (Dogakusha), Poland (Czytelnik), Czech Republic (Odeon), Bulgaria (Narodna Kultura)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Der Hörverlag)

Werke in 16 Bänden/Death In Rome (1954)

Sold to:

English world rights (Granta / Penguin), Chinese simplex rights (Shanghai Lucidabooks), France (Typhon), Netherlands (Cossee), Macedonia (Ad Verbum); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Spanish world rights (RBA), Catalan rights (La Magrana), Russia (Progress), Italy (Zandonai), Norway (Bokvennen), Poland (PIW), Czech Republic (Academia), Slovakia (Slovensky Spisovatel), Hungary (Europa), Bulgaria (Narodna Kultura), Latvia (Liesma), Slovenia (Mladinska Knijga)

Werke in 16 Bänden/The Hothouse (1953)

Sold to:

Chinese simplex rights (Shanghai Lucidabooks); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: English world rights (W.W.Norton; UK sublicense: Granta), Spanish world rights (RBA), Russia (Progress), Netherlands (Thoth), Finland (Kirjaythymä), Poland (PIW), Czech Republic (Academia), Slovakia (Slovensky Spisovatel), Hungary (Europa), Latvia (Liesma)

Werke in 16 Bänden/Pigeons on the Grass (1951)

Sold to:

USA (New Directions), Chinese simplex rights (Shanghai Lucidabooks), Serbia (Fabrika), Greece (Kritiki); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Spanish world rights (RBA), Russia (Progress), France (Laffont), Netherlands (Thoth), Norway (Bokvennen), Finland (Kirjayhtymä Oy), Czech Republic (Academia), Slovenia (PAN), Israel (Carmel)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (DAV)

Werke in 16 Bänden/A Sad Affair (1934)

Sold to:

Previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: English world rights (W.W. Norton), France (Albin Michel), Norway (Bokvennen), Finland (Karisto)