Anatol Ludwig Stiller’s Library

A new addition to my libraries in fiction collection: the library in Anatol Ludwig Stiller’s studio from Max Frisch’s I’m Not Stiller:

He was looking at the two bookcases. To call what the missing man left behind a library would be an exaggeration. Alongside a small volume of Plato and one or two things by Hegel stood names which today have been forgotten even by second-hand book-sellers; Brecht rubbed shoulders with Hamsun, then Gorky, Nietzsche, and a great many paperbacks, some of which contained opera texts; Count Keyserling was also there, but with the black imprint of a public library; then there were all sorts of art books, especially modern ones and an anthology of Swiss poetry; Mein Kampf was flanked by Andre Gidé and supported on the other side by a White Paper on the Spanish Civil War; there were various volumes in the Insel series, though not a complete set of anything, isolated volumes like Westöstlicher Divan and Faust and Gespräche met Eckermann, Don Quijote de la Mancha, Der Zauberberg, the only work by Thomas Mann, the Iliad, Dante’s Commedia, Erich Kästner, Mozarts Reise nach Prag, also Mörike’s poems, Till Eulenspiegel, then again Marcel Proust, but not the whole of La Recherché, Huttens Letzte Tage, of Gottfried Keller’s works only the Diaries and Letters, a book by C. G. Jung, The Black Spider, something by Arp and suddenly Strindberg’s Dream Play, some early Hesse, too, Chekhov, Pirandello, all in German translation, Lawrence’s Mexico story, The Woman Who Rode Away; a good deal by a Swiss called Albin Zollinger, of Dostoyevsky only The House of the Dead, Garcia Lorca’s first poems in Spanish, Petite Prose by Claudel and Das Kapital, the latter supported by Hölderlin; a few thrillers, Lichtenberg, Tagore, Ringelnatz, Schopenhauer, again the black imprint of a public library, Hemingway (on bullfighting) next door to George Trakl; piles of periodicals ready to fall apart, a Spanish-German dictionary with a very tattered cover, the Communist Manifesto, a book by Gandhi, and so on.

6 thoughts on “Anatol Ludwig Stiller’s Library

  1. library book sales, old musty bookshops, serendipitous discoveries in charity stores, garage sales; it’s a lot like my collection, with a history of it’s own, and it’s own secret revelations…

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