Volker Braun

Working Days 2 - Workbooks 1990 - 2008

(German title: Werktage 2)
ca. 1007 pages
Volker Braun
Foto: Volker Braun
© Roger Melis

Born in 1939 in Dresden, Braun started working in a print shop and an open pit. Thereafter he studied philosophy in Leipzig and worked at the Berliner Enssemble until 1990. Today he lives in Berlin.

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Volker Braun’s working journal from the age of capitalist reunification


The first volume of Volker Braun’s working journal ended on the last day of the year 1989. The second encompasses the period between 1990 and 2008. The reader accompanies Braun through the years following the German reunification, becoming witness to the author’s intellectual and aesthetic creative process.

These were decisive years: Volker Braun redefines himself in the reunified Germany. He discovers a new identity for himself as an author and at the same time his works find a host of new readers. The working journal describes among other things how the title of his famous poem Eigentum (Property) emerged during a public reading. The dialogue between author and reader begins to extend beyond Germany to a number of different countries. His works begin to be translated into English, Arabic, and Italian, and in the period between 2001 and 2008 a number of important events prepared the way for the international reception of his writings: an edition of Braun’s collected works was published in China, and the French state named him »Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres«.


»Working Days is an unsparing record about the whole of life, which does not only include the production itself, but also transgressions and forgetting. Just like any great literature.«


»Working Days 1990-2008 is an artistically as well as a socially relevant historical document that distinguishes itself through precise observations of everyday life, astute power of judgment and its humorous tone. Working Days is the critical protocol of a dedicated writer’s existence and thus a captivating journal.«


»Some may find the harshness of Volker Braun’s questions scandalous. But it’s not the questions that are scandalous – it’s the conditions they address.«

Other publications

Flickwerk/Patchwork (2009)

Sold to:

Arabic world rights (Kalima), France (Métailié)