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Commemorating Arno Schmidt’s 100th Birthday

Exhibition in University Library of Freie Universität Berlin

№ 018/2014 from Jan 17, 2014

The University Library of Freie Universität Berlin has put together an exhibition in commemoration of the 100th birthday of the writer and journalist Arno Schmidt (1914–1979) on January 18. From Friday, January 17 through April 25, Schmidt’s published work will be on display. The presentation will include early first editions and illustrated editions as typescript facsimiles and translations as well as secondary literature and other materials. The displayed items are from the holdings of the University Library and the Philological Library of Freie Universität, private collections, and the Arno Schmidt Foundation in Bargfeld. Pirate editions of Zettel's Traum are included. On Tuesday, February 4, next to the exhibition Bernd Rauschenbach, the secretary of the Arno Schmidt Foundation, will recite the story "Windmühlen" and several other short texts.

The first exhibition of Arno Schmidt's work that the University Library compiled – likely the first exhibition of his work altogether – was in March 1976. It displayed first editions of his works, translations, and secondary literature from its own collections. Additionally, there were some loans from the private collection of Bernd Rauschenbach, who currently presides over the Arno Schmidt Foundation in Bargfeld.

In the 38 years since then, there has been a steady increase in secondary literature about Arno Schmidt, due at least in part to the activities of the Arno Schmidt Foundation. There have been many new editions of Schmidt's work, and there is enough corresponding secondary literature to fill several meters of shelf space. The focus of the new exhibition is on the collected works of Arno Schmidt edited by the Foundation and published by Suhrkamp Verlag. Transcribing the text of Zettel's Traum from the typescript facsimile to normal letterpress set is a particular feat that is documented in the exhibition. There are also two copies of the Berlin pirate edition that are an important part of the reception of this work by Arno Schmidt.

Time and Location

  • University Library, Freie Universität Berlin, Foyer, Garystraße 39, 14195 Berlin; subway station: Thielplatz (U3)
  • January 17, 2014, to April 25, 2014, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Public Reading: Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 8 p.m.

Further Information

Dr. Susanne Rothe, University Library, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 / 838–53359, Email: