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.
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.
A draft for the translation of Anniversaries, chapter October 29, 1967, by Damion Searls
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.