Thursday, 2 January 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the expressionist sculptor, draftsman and playwright Ernst Barlach (1870-1938). Just in time for the anniversary, a major editorial project has been completed: an annotated new edition of all of Barlach's letters is published in four volumes by Suhrkamp Verlag. The edition gathers around 2,200 letters from 90 archives, museums and private collections; more than 500 are published for the first time. The edition was initiated by the Ernst Barlach Foundation Güstrow and the Ernst Barlach Haus Hamburg and compiled at the University of Rostock.
Ernst Barlach wrote the novel of his life with the letters. The scope ranges from searching for meaning of life and self-reflection, to becoming an artist and a master of art and also reflections about desperation and political persecution. Barlach is an entertaining narrator, a gifted satirist, a opinionated observer and a razor-sharp commentator of his time. He is sensitive and immodest, curious and stubborn, he asks and ignores - a polyphonic personality.
At the suggestion of the Ernst Barlach House, actor Charly Hübner and writer Ingo Schulze, together with the literary scholar Holger Helbig, one of the editors of the new edition, go on a reading tour introducing samples of Barlach's letters. Hamburg, Rostock, Berlin, Munich, Cologne and Dresden are stations of the tour.
Ernst Barlach. The letters. Annotated new edition in four volumes
Edited by Holger Helbig, Karoline Lemke, Paul Onasch and Henri Seel, in collaboration with Volker Probst, Franziska Hell and Sarah Schossner, ca. 3,000 pages, bound, with dust jacket, in a slipcase, Suhrkamp Verlag, ISBN: 978-3-518- 42877-1, 98 euro.
The letter edition "Barlach 2020" is funded by the Hermann Reemtsma Foundation and the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.