December 10, 2009
As part of the 25-volume Werkausgabe of Anna Seghers’s literary works, Aufbau-Verlag in Berlin just published the second of Ute Brandes’s two-volume edition of Seghers’s short stories from 1950-1965. Anna Seghers, a German Jew and author of short stories, essays, and novels, was a leading intellectual voice among international postwar writers. Her works have been translated into more than forty languages and were made into numerous films, including the Hollywood movie The Seventh Cross with Spencer Tracy. Seghers’s short stories were written at the height of the Cold War in East Germany, a period notorious for censorship and self-censorship. Brandes’s editing and critical essays focus on restoring the original features of the texts, on their reception in East and West, and on the aesthetic and political implications of certain narrative strategies which make Seghers’s works richly original.