Exhibition: German Fever: Beckett in Deutschland / Beckett in Germany
Venue: Literaturmuseum der Moderne (Museum of Modern Literature), Marbach, Germany
8 November 2017 – 15 March 2018

‘When it’s coming up to Xmas I get the German fever’, Samuel Beckett wrote to his friend Thomas MacGreevy in 1932. This exhibition examines Beckett’s life-long engagement with German art, literature and language. It sheds light on Beckett’s extensive reading of classical writers such as Goethe, Schiller and Hölderlin, his engagement with German visual artists from Albrecht Dürer to the Expressionists, as well as his observations on the reality within National Socialist Germany. The exhibition also tells the story of his famous productions at the Schiller Theatre in Berlin from the 1960s to the 1980s – in particular of Waiting for Godot (1975) – and his works for television at the Süddeutscher Rundfunk in Stuttgart. Furthermore, the exhibition documents Beckett’s close relationship with his publisher Siegfried Unseld, his German translator Elmar Tophoven and the important role played by the Suhrkamp Verlag in introducing the writer’s work to German readers.

The exhibition presents 150 items, manuscripts, letters and two of his German Diaries notebooks, many of which are being shown in public for the first time.

The exhibition was conceived by Dirk Van Hulle and Mark Nixon, curated by Ellen Strittmatter, Director of Museums, together with Johannes Kempf, Magdalena Schanz, Moritz Schumm and Marc Wurich, and designed by Agentur südstudio (Hannes Bierkämper, Anja Soeder and Alexander Lang). Graphic design is by Clemens Hartmann.

The bilingual (German/English) catalogue of the exhibition was written by Dirk Van Hulle and Mark Nixon:

Marbacher Magazin 158.159; Mark Nixon / Dirk Van Hulle: ‘German fever. Beckett in Deutschland / Beckett in Germany’. 248 pages, with several colour facsimiles. 2017. ISBN 978-3-944469-30-0. EUR 20,00. Essays in English and German.

Further Information

Posted by:Rhys Tranter

Rhys Tranter is a writer based in Cardiff, Wales, UK. He is the author of Beckett's Late Stage (2018), and his work has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, and a number of books and periodicals. He holds a BA, MA, and a PhD in English Literature. His website RhysTranter.com is a personal journal offering commentary and analysis across literature, film, music, and the arts.

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