Editions, Cooperations

Bertolt Brecht, Notizbücher

Historisch-kritische Hybridedition

Project duration: since 2008

Cover of Brecht's first Notebook, 1918

The Notebooks are the most important group of Bertolt Brecht’s works not yet published. They played a key role in his writings and thought, accompanying his entire oeuvre (1918–1956). Not only did almost every project originate in them, but together they form his portable archive of ‘self-reflection’.

For the first time, the entire 54 surviving Notebooks are to be edited (12 volumes), as well as Notebook sheets that have surviving separately (1 volume) and two address books (1 volume). In total, the edition is 14 volumes designed as a hybrid publication.

The book edition presents each written page in high-quality black-and-white reproductions with an accompanying exact transcript. Reading texts are not constituted. The appendix includes sources in the expositions as well as connections to Brecht’s life and work; for complex findings, a text is constituted in a proposed form, although except in justified and marked cases, no attempt is made at interpretation. A philological description as well as, where appropriate, related documents, chronologies, literature lists and various indexes offer access to the Notebooks from various perspectives.

The printed books are supplemented by an Electronic Edition with reproductions of the double pages of the Notebooks in colour, source texts and the related drafts or plans from Brecht’s literary estate and papers. The corrigenda, chronologies, various indexes and a discussion forum, where new insights and detailed research questions can be discussed, are to be cumulatively managed and continually updated.

The Notebooks are the first critical-historical Brecht edition and a first step in a critical edition of Brecht’s complete works. The edition is designed in such an open and straightforward fashion that every (partial) edition published later can easily build on it.

Editors: Dr. Martin Kölbel (Berlin), PD Dr. Peter Villwock (Berlin)

Project manager: Prof. Dr. Roland Reuß (Heidelberg), Prof. Dr. Erdmut Wizisla (Berlin)

In cooperation with the Institut für Textkritik e.V., Heidelberg and Heidelberg University, Department of German Studies

Funded by the Deutsche Literaturfonds, Darmstadt (Vol. 7 Restaurierung und Digitalisierung aller Notizbücher, Vol. 8) and the Otto Wolff Stiftung (Volumes 1-6). The editors are staff members of the Archives of the Akademie der Künste.