31 January 2019

Researching the estate of Imre Kertész at the Akademie der Künste

The Akademie der Künste has established a dedicated position to research and index the estate of the Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertész held by Katalin Madácsi-Laube. She is also responsible for user support, continuing Maren Horn's work to date on the Kertész estate at the Literature Archive.
Madácsi-Laube studied Hungarian philology and literature in Eger (Hungary), as well as history and German studies in Freiburg im Breisgau, Göttingen and Berlin. Her current research on the Imre Kertész archive illuminates the genesis of the global success that was Fatelessness as well as the writer's artistic beginnings in the context of contemporary and literary history.

Imre Kertész, a member of the Akademie der Künste since 2003, handed the archival holdings over to the Akademie Archives during his lifetime. The Akademie der Künste acquired his artistic archives entirely, with manuscripts for his published works such as Fatelessness, Fiasco and Kaddish for an Unborn Child right up to Liquidation and The File on K, his numerous speeches and drafts, as well as previously unpublished material such as his first unfinished novel, I, the Executioner, and his work journals, which he had kept since 1958. A broad range of correspondence, personal documents, photographs and documentation of the Nobel Prize for Literature awarded to him are also included in the holdings of the Imre Kertész archive. In 2012, the archive was opened during a ceremony at Pariser Platz in the presence of the writer.

The Archives of the Akademie der Künste is set on mediating these important archival holdings to the public, as well as on interdisciplinary and international cooperation with historical and literary research projects examining the work and testimony of Imre Kertész. For example, in its current anniversary edition (Issue 1, 2019), the magazine Sinn und Form has published a piece from the Imre Kertész archive: Journal entries (1959–1962) for Fatelessness.

In April 2018, the Akademie der Künste dedicated a symposium to the internationally canonised author under the title "Holocaust als Kultur: Zur Poetik von Imre Kertész" (Holocaust as Culture: On the Poetics of Imre Kertész) with panel discussions, readings and lectures involving Akademie members Friedrich Christian Delius, Durs Grünbein, Ulrich Matthes and Ingo Schulze, among others. Now, the contributions to the conference have been published in an extended edition of the magazine Sprache im technischen Zeitalter.

In case of queries:
Werner Heegewaldt, Director of the Archives, archivdirektion@adk.de 

Sprache im technischen Zeitalter, Issue 228
Edited by Thomas Geiger, Norbert Miller, Joachim Sartorius
Cologne, Weimar, Vienna, 2018
Documentation of the Akademie conference "Holocaust als Kultur: Zur Poetik von Imre Kertész" (Holocaust as Culture: On the Poetics of Imre Kertész), with contributions by László F. Földényi, Irene Heidelberger-Leonard, Christina Viragh, Sabine Wolf, Katalin Madácsi-Laube, Gerhard Scheit, Leonard Olschner, Dietmar Ebert, Lothar Müller, Rüdiger Görner, Irmela von der Lühe, Iris Radisch and Peter Gülke.
Review copies upon request: presse@adk.de