Heinrich Mann: Essays and Journalism

Complete Critical Edition

Project duration: 2002 – 2023

Collected Critical Edition of the Essays and Journalism, Heinrich Mann, Vols 1–7

Publication of the complete critical edition of Heinrich Mann’s essays, articles and journalism began in 2009 in the Bielefeld-based Aisthesis Verlag. It is thanks to them that this ambitious edition is being published – in textform design and commentary, and exemplary in typesetting and printing.

The complete edition has close links with the Akademie der Künste and a history going back nearly 70 years. On 24 March 1950, the Deutsche Akademie der Künste in East Berlin was founded. Heinrich Mann was its first president designate,  but died two weeks before the opening ceremony. Efforts immediately started to establish a Heinrich Mann Archive and produce a collected edition of the works of this writer. Journalist Alfred Kantorowicz, appointed head of the archive, issued since 1951 12 volumes of selected works, including two volumes of essays (1954, 1956; a third was published in 1962 by Heinz Kamnitzer after Kantorowicz left the GDR in 1957).

Over the years, the Heinrich Mann Archive developed plans for a new critical edition. The elements of the literary estate and his bequest library gradually arriving in Berlin from Prague, Los Angeles, France and Sweden not only provided material for basic research, textual comparisons and revisions, but also cast new light on biographical questions and contemporary history. From 1965 to 1988, Sigrid Anger was the editor-in-chief of a Collected Works edition issued by the Akademie der Künste and published by Aufbau Press. Planned as 24 volumes, Vols 1 – 18 and Vol 24 have been published. By the late 1980s, work on an eight-volume edition of essays (Vols 20 – 23 each as 2 subvolumes), involving not only Sigrid Anger, but also Manfred Hahn, Werner Herden, Wolfgang Klein, Barbara Voigt and Ursel Wolff, was well on the way to completion. However, in the wake of the political and social upheavals in 1989/1990, the edition could not be finished.

Subsequently, knowledge of Heinrich Mann's essayistic and journalistic work was enriched by Brigitte Nestler's three-volume Heinrich Mann bibliography and other research, as well as by substantial new archival holdings that gradually became accessible in Los Angeles, Prague, Marbach, Moscow, and Lübeck. Work on the complete edition of this part of the work received a new organizational framework in 2001 with the founding of the Heinrich Mann Edition Center at the University of Osnabrück. To complete the edition, a further work center was established at the Literature Archives of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, in January 2022.

The editors-in-chief for this critical edition are Wolfgang Klein, Anne Flierl and Volker Riedel, together with Cordula Greinert, Manfred Hahn, Ariane Martin, Peter Stein and Bernhard Veitenheimer as editors of individual volumes. At present, seven volumes with texts from 1889 to 1937 have been published. The volume covering the years 1938 to 1940 is to be published in 2023. The completion of the edition with volumes 9 (1940-1950) and 10 (additions, corrections, complete index) is a joint project of the Heinrich Mann Edition Center and the Literature Archives of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, which in parallel to this project is carrying out the German Research Foundation-project Heinrich Mann DIGITAL.

The edition was initially funded by the German Research Foundation, then temporarily by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the FAZIT Foundation and the University of Osnabrück, and since 2022 it is founded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.

The editors have been supported by the Heinrich Mann Archive, by the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library Los Angeles as well as by Isabel Kupski, Sascha Michel and Oliver Vogel, readers at the S. Fischer Verlag, who have advocated this edition at S. Fischer Press.