Feuchtwanger Re-Freshed, a University of Southern California student production which was performed for the first time at the International Feuchtwanger Society Conference 2015, was performed again at Villa Aurora on December 4th 2015:

Feuchtwanger Refreshed

“What happens to great ideas that never get the chance to grow into stories? Feuchtwanger collected long lists of ideas for novels and plays that he intended to write, but was unable to get to in his busy lifetime. The USC MFA Dramatic Writing playwrights have taken five of these ideas and turned them into short plays, bringing Feuchtwanger back to life in our own complex time.” Andrew Robinson, Former Head of MFA Acting Program, USC

Recently unearthed among Edgar’s files: June 4th 1948 letter from Lion to Edgar in which Lion once again laments the quality of William Rose’s English translation of Waffen für Amerika. 

Waffen für Amerika was Lion Feuchtwanger’s only major novel to address American themes. It contains a colourful lesson about shared ideological roots—a lesson he was eager to deliver to readers on both sides of the Atlantic. Preparing an English translation proved more arduous than expected, however, as evidenced by his correspondence with Rose. Lion Feuchtwanger found Rose’s translation contained significant shortcomings, which were evidently irksome in the run-up to publication but provide valuable insight into the mechanics of Feuchtwanger’s writing.

For detailed analysis, see ‘The Proud Fabric? A Translator’s Perspective on Waffen für Amerika in English Translation’ (my paper for the International Feuchtwanger Society conference 2013).

Jonathan Skolnik, Associate Professor of German at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Interim Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies, has published Jewish Pasts, German Fictions, History, Memory and Minority Culture in Germany 1824-1955. A section of the book covers Lion Feuchtwanger as historical novelist and highlights authors by whom he was inspired, and also discusses individual Lion Feuchtwanger works.


Sharon Gillermann, Associate Professor of Jewish History, Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles

While working on Die Jüdin von Toledo,  which draws on the Biblical story of Esther, Lion Feuchtwanger acquired a handwritten parchment scroll depicting part of the Book of Esther. The scroll has been professionally restored by the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library and is on display at Villa Aurora. To mark the occasion, Professor Gillermann gave a lecture entitled ‘Another Promised Land: The Book of Esther and the Ambiguities of Diaspora’ on February 28, 2013 at Villa Aurora.

Winner of the 2009 Lion Feuchtwanger Prize was novelist Reinhard Jirgl, for his novel Die Stille (Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich, 2009). The novel is described by the publisher as […] Einhundert Jahre aus der Geschichte zweier Familien und aus der Geschichte eines Landes: Reinhard Jirgls “Die Stille” ist das Epos vom langen 20. Jahrhundert in Deutschland. Am Anfang steht ein Fotoalbum, die ältesten Bilder sind über achtzig Jahre alt: einhundert Fotografien zweier Familien, die eine aus Ostpreußen stammend, die andere aus der Niederlausitz. Zwei Weltkriege, Inflation, Flucht und Vertreibung haben diese beiden Familien über fünf politische Systeme hinweg, von der Kaiserzeit bis heute, überlebt. Den einhundert Fotografien folgend, erzählt Jirgl Geschichten von Verletzungen, Liebe und Verrat. ”

“Ein fulminantes Werk.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung