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Hermann Hesse

»›Great Times‹ Leave Behind Great Piles of Rubble«

This volume comprising more than 500 letters sets in few months after the begin of World War II. These letters depict in many dramatic episodes the extent to which Hermann Hesse and his German publisher Peter Suhrkamp were affected by the repressions of the Nazi regime. At least equally as gripping are Hesse’s replies to numerous German correspondents who described their fates vividly to the poet, who had been living in Switzerland since 1912, and asked him for advice and help.

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Hermann Hesse

»I’m a person of becoming and of change«

The years between 1924 and 1932 once more show Hermann Hesse to be »a person of becoming and of change«. For him, they begin with the experiment of a new (yet short-lived) marriage. The effects of inflation in Germany and the hassle of the foreign exchange transfer in Switzerland concern him, the provider for three sons and their mother, on more than just an existential level. But it’s the political impacts of the currency devaluation that are just as apparent to him: they undermine the new democratic beginning and empower the revanchist forces in Germany, which, treated with contempt by the media, nevertheless court him on the occasion of his 50th birthday.

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Hermann Hesse

»I am not and will not be obedient!«

This collection of Hermann Hesse’s brilliant early letters conveys the both dramatic and fascinating journey full of obstacles of a gifted missionary’s son, destined for a theological career, who had already decided by the age of twelve that he would become »either a poet or nothing«.

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Hermann Hesse

»Trusting That We Won't Lose One Another«

It’s not easy being the son of a famous father. More so if that father is often absent and the family breaks apart. This correspondence, containing almost 300 hitherto unpublished letters, shows how Hermann Hesse and his sons Bruno and Heiner managed to establish a loving relationship throughout their lifetime »despite all difficulties«.

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Sarah Kirsch, Christa Wolf

»We truly got used to all sorts of things«

»Dearest, dearest Christa, how nice that you remain here on this daft planet!«, Sarah Kirsch writes in the autumn of 1988 to her friend who has just recovered from a life-threatening illness. One decade earlier, following a meeting in West Berlin just after Kirsch had left the GDR, Christa Wolf stated: »I am glad that I was with you and can now think of you calmly.«

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Reinhart Koselleck, Carl Schmitt

Correspondence

Over the course of three decades, from 1953 to 1983, jurist Carl Schmitt (1888-1985) and historian Reinhart Koselleck (1923-2006) corresponded with one another. The exchange between the former »Crown Jurist of the Third Reich« and the future »most important German historian of the 20th centurry« (DIE ZEIT) not only deals with the main works of the two protagonists but also with Koselleck’s career in the world of West-German academia and Schmitt‘s position at the margin of the academic field. Leading contemporaries, such as Blumenberg, Habermas and Heidegger, find their place in it alongside historical questions and terminology as well as current political developments. A correspondence between scholars characterised by »criticism and crisis« – while at the same time an important chapter of German intellectual history.

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Hg.: Antje Modersohn, Wolfgang Werner

»We belong to each other indeed«. The letters

When Paula Becker first meets the considerably older Otto Modersohn in 1899, she is a young, ambitious artist who wants to paint at any cost; he, on the contrary, has already had a name for quite some time, is one of the founders of the artists’ colony in Worpswede, and, on top of it all, married. Nonetheless, their mutual attraction is undeniable and one year later they are a couple. The first letters they exchange while Paula Becker is travelling between Berlin and Paris already bear witness to the great affection they felt for each other but also to their great connection in terms of artistic creation. Later, their written correspondence would continuously prove to be a means for them to discuss painting as well as the formulation of artistic goals. And, last but not least, they are full of anecdotes concerning their circles of friends in Worpswede as well as Paula Becker’s amusement over her marriage preparation course in Berlin.

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Hans Erich Nossack

Give Me a Sign of Life Again Soon

On the occasion of Hans Erich Nossack’s 100th birthday, Suhrkamp published a selection of his correspondence from the years between 1943 and 1956 that shows Nossack as an important correspondent in conversation with Hermann Kasack, Peter Suhrkamp, Hans H. König, Ernst Kreuder, Peter Huchel, Joseph Breitbach and others.

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Gershom Scholem, Hannah Arendt

Correspondence – 1939-1964

This first-time publication of the correspondence between Gershom Scholem and Hannah Arendt is a unique contemporary historical document: a discussion on crucial questions of Jewish history and self-image after the Shoah led by two of the 20th century’s most significant thinkers of Jewish extraction.

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English world rights (Chicago UP), Spanish world rights (Trotta), Chinese simplex rights (Shanghai Sanhui Publishing House), France (Seuil), Japan (Iwanami Shoten), Czech Republic (Filosofia), Israel (Babel)

Gershom Scholem, Walter Benjamin

Correspondence 1933-1940

The correspondence between Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem spans from March 1933 to February 1940. The letters document the last period in Benjamin’s life: the problems of material existence, the personal relationship with Scholem and the pivotal topics of their intellectual exchange. To Benjamin, the Nazis‘ assumption of power not only meant exile and increasing restrictions of his possibilities to publish but also years of a gruelling fight to make a living. Reflections on Kafka are a frequent intellectual focus of the correspondence. Affinity and difference of Benjamin’s and Scholem’s thought become all the more clear the more similar the religio-philosophical terminological field in which the diverging interpretations are located is.

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English world rights (Schocken Books), Spanish world rights (Trotta), Chinese simplex rights (Shanghai Sanhui), Italy (Adelphi); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Brazilian Portuguese rights (Perspectiva), France (L'Éclat), Korea (Saemulgyul), Japan (Hosei UP), Turkey (Kolektif)

Peter Suhrkamp, Annemarie Seidel

»So Now Farewell! And Take Good Care«

»Authentic-biographical material« by Peter Suhrkamp was, until now, considered »destroyed«, as his first biographers, Siegfried Unseld and Helene Ritzerfeld, stated. As it turned out, they were mistaken: For the correspondence between Suhrkamp and Annemarie Seidel has survived, 450 letters in total. The correspondence between the publisher and the actress called »Mirl«, whom he had been married to since 1935, extends up until Suhrkamp’s death on March 31st, 1959. For the first time, it conveys a candid, detailed impression of his character and his work.

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Robert Walser

Letters 1-3

Robert Walser as a letter-writer is yet to be discovered. His letters are not merely the private backboard to his work, but an integral part of it. Therefore, the Bern Edition of Walser’s Works opens with a new, comprehensive edition of his letters. They provide insight to the existential conditions of Walser’s »life as a poet« between Zurich, Berlin, Biel, Bern and Herisau.

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Christa Wolf

It’s Quite Comfortable Being Caught in the Middle

»Mail, mail, mail«. This cri de cœur, jotted down in the calendar underneath the date of Sunday, 4th of March 1990, is not unfounded: Christa Wolf was a tremendously productive correspondent. Her letters to relatives and friends, colleagues, editors, politicians and journalists provide a fascinating insight into her thoughts, her writing process and her social engagement. Whether she writes to Günter Grass or Max Frisch, demands to get access to her Stasi-files from Joachim Gauck or leads exchanges with friends like Sarah Kirsch and Maxie Wander, we bear witness to friendships and rifts, disputes and approval and to the reflections of one of the most important authors of the 20th century.

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