The German novelist Hans Fallada (1893-1947) has received considerable attention in the English-speaking world recently, following the first English translation of his anti-fascist novel Jeder stirbt für sich allein (which was published variously as Every Man Dies Alone and Alone in Berlin) became a bestseller. This has also prompted renewed interest in the German-speaking world, for example in reissues of Fallada’s works, and in new stage plays based on them.

This seminar examines the recent reissue of Fallada’s 1932 bestseller Kleiner Mann – was nun? (Little Man – What Now?) by his German publisher. In particular, it interrogates the publisher’s claim that the reissue restores various and substantial emendations and cuts which Fallada made in 1932 for political reasons, and therefore offers the author’s original and preferred text to his readers for the first time. Thus this seminar engages with issues of artistic authenticity, censorship, and marketing.

About the presenter

Dr Geoff Wilkes is a Senior Lecturer in German Studies in the School of Languages and Cultures. He has published a book and several articles about Hans Fallada, as well as translations of some of Fallada’s shorter texts for Melville House (New York).


About Studies in Culture Seminar Series

Through the scholarly analysis of many different kinds of cultural products, texts and phenomena, Studies in Culture brings together researchers who seek to understand how the world is understood differently by people coming from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Researchers in this cluster work on literature, film, music, theatre, the visual arts, intangible heritage, testimonies and historical narratives.

Research in Studies in Culture within the School centres around four broad sub-themes of Heritage, memory and trauma studies; Intellectual and cultural history; Literature; and Film and visual cultures.

To view more on the research and interests of the Studies in Culture cluster, please click here.


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