Inhabit the Word: Celebrating 80 Years of PEN, a  conference sponsored by Villa Aurora  with a reception hosted by the Consul General of Switzerland Jean-François Lichtenstern,  was held on June 28th-29th 2014 at the Goethe Institute Los Angeles. PEN Zentrum deutschspachiger Autoren was founded in 1934 by a group of exiled writers including Lion Feuchtwanger, in protest against the events unfolding in Germany.der-deutsche-pen-club-im-exil-en

reiter

In the Süddeutsche Zeitung last week re the newly elected SPD mayor of Munich Dieter Reiter, whose favourite book is Erfolg:

“Es ist schon etwas abgegriffen, auch ein paar kleine Eselsohren findet man: Reiters Lieblingsbuch ist der Schlüsselroman “Erfolg” von Lion Feuchtwanger, der als einer der ersten die Gefahren durch Hitler und die NSDAP erkannt hat. Dem Buch sieht man deutlich an, dass Reiter es oft in der Hand hat. Es begleitet ihn seit Jahrzehnten. Damit es nicht irgendwann auseinanderfällt, hat Reiter sich inzwischen eine Taschenbuchversion gekauft, um sein Original-Lieblingsbuch zu schonen.”

 

 

im roten eis

 

Emotive account of the tortuous fate of the Wolfs, including how Lion Feuchtwanger attempted to intervene with the Soviet authorities on their behalf, and his continued correspondence with Sonja right up until his death in 1958.

» Detailreich erzählte Autobiografie, (…) die Einblick in den unerbittlichen Mechanismus des Stalinismus gewährt. «
Der Spiegel

Images from the International Feuchtwanger Society Conference 2013 in Berlin:

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 Edgar speaking at the Rotes Rathaus, recalling with mixed feelings his 1937 visit to the city

 

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Frank Stern, myself, and Jörg Thunecke: panel addressing the impact of various Lion Feuchtwanger works (in translation) in the US

Full conference program here.

This 30th August 2013 Süddeutsche Zeitung  article accurately observes that Erfolg (1930) was the first major German novel to comprehensively address the rise of Nazism, and that the novel provides a broad and compelling portrait of Bavarian life in the 1920s.

“‘Three Years in the History of a Province’ is the subtitle–bourgeois lives, corruption, narrow-mindedness, a biased legal system, and National Socialism form the backdrop; the protagonists are thinly veiled portraits of famous and lesser known figures such as Brecht, Karl Valentin, industrialists and politicians. Feuchtwanger had his sights trained on one such figure from a very early stage: Adolf Hitler, portrayed in the novel as Rupert Kutzner, a garage mechanic with the gift of the gab.” Süddeutsche Zeitung

An overview of the author and his work, for researchers, journalists and students. This site is maintained by Dr. Adrian Feuchtwanger.