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News Stand Grand CentralPhoto (detail): © Daniel Albanese

Uwe Johnson’s New York
Riverside Drive Revisited

Just over 50 years ago, Uwe Johnson, a German writer living in New York, began writing Anniversaries, one of the great masterpieces of postwar German literature.  The narrative extends over 365 days from August 21, 1967 to August 20, 1968, and chiefly takes place in New York. On the occasion of the first complete English translation of Anniversaries, the Goethe-Institut investigates what makes this such an enduring classic, and invites you to discover the New York of Uwe Johnson and his fictional creation, Gesine Cresspahl.


Uwe Johnson in New York


From the Anniversaries Manuscripts

In this slideshow you can look over the Uwe Johnson’s shoulder as he writes his manuscript to Anniversaries. The more recent work of Damion Searls, who just translated this classic of German post-war literature into English, is also on display.

  • First typescript page of <i>Anniversaries</i>, which Johnson had typed while still in New York © Uwe Johnson-Forschungsstelle/ Johannes und Annitta Fries Stiftung/ Peter Suhrkamp Stiftung
    First typescript page of Anniversaries, which Johnson had typed while still in New York
  • Johnson’s research into grocery prices in New York in 1967 © Uwe Johnson-Forschungsstelle/ Johannes und Annitta Fries Stiftung/ Peter Suhrkamp Stiftung
    Johnson’s research into grocery prices in New York in 1967
  • Overview of January 1968 © Uwe Johnson-Forschungsstelle/ Johannes und Annitta Fries Stiftung/ Peter Suhrkamp Stiftung
    Overview of January 1968
  • Overview of April 1968 © Uwe Johnson-Forschungsstelle/ Johannes und Annitta Fries Stiftung/ Peter Suhrkamp Stiftung
    Overview of April 1968
  • Overview of May 1968 © Uwe Johnson-Forschungsstelle/ Johannes und Annitta Fries Stiftung/ Peter Suhrkamp Stiftung
    Overview of May 1968
  • Overview of June 1968 © Uwe Johnson-Forschungsstelle/ Johannes und Annitta Fries Stiftung/ Peter Suhrkamp Stiftung
    Overview of June 1968
  • Index of the years in the Mecklenburg subplot © Uwe Johnson-Forschungsstelle/ Johannes und Annitta Fries Stiftung/ Peter Suhrkamp Stiftung
    Index of the years in the Mecklenburg subplot
  • Index of the years in the Mecklenburg subplot © Uwe Johnson-Forschungsstelle/ Johannes und Annitta Fries Stiftung/ Peter Suhrkamp Stiftung
    Index of the years in the Mecklenburg subplot
  • A drawing of “Auntie Times.” (“What kind of person does Gesine picture when she thinks of The New York Times as an aunt”?, p. 31) © Uwe Johnson-Forschungsstelle/ Johannes und Annitta Fries Stiftung/ Peter Suhrkamp Stiftung
    A drawing of “Auntie Times”. (“What kind of person does Gesine picture when she thinks of The New York Times as an aunt”?, p. 31)
  • A draft for the translation of <i>Anniversaries</i>, chapter October 29, 1967, by Damion Searls © Uwe Johnson-Forschungsstelle/ Johannes und Annitta Fries Stiftung/ Peter Suhrkamp Stiftung
    A draft for the translation of Anniversaries, chapter October 29, 1967, by Damion Searls


Impressum

Curator: Dr. Christoph Willmitzer
Project Manager: Walter Schlect
Map: Damion Searls
Photography: Daniel Albanese
Interns: Cana Jasemin Czyrt, Naomi Bechert, und Suna Yilmaz
 
We are grateful for the support of the Uwe-Johnson-Forschungsstelle an der Universität Rostock, der Johannes und Annitta Fries Stiftung, der Peter Suhrkamp Stiftung, New York Review Books Classics, and The Culinary Institute of America Menu Collection of the Conrad N. Hilton Library. The translation of Anniversaries was supported by a grant from the Goethe-Institut using funds provided by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
 

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