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No marginal notes. Nowhere – Petrarca's psalms struggle for recognition

Ursula Kundert

Francesco Petrarca, Psalmi penitentionales, Marcus Brandis, Leipzig ca. 1485. Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, S 378. 8° Helmst., no page number.


The Book of Psalms is possibly the most frequently copied, printed, quoted, commented, translated, edited, and imitated work in...

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From Newspaper Rumour to Card Game: The Intermedial "Faust"

Carsten Rohde


Goethe’s Faust first appeared in an imaginary medium – a rumour. In 1777/78, various journals in Germany printed stories claiming that Lessing, as well as Goethe, were writing poetic works about that late medieval “arch sorcerer” and practitioner of  “black magic” who was poised to become...

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»Doktor Faust«, Theaterzettel einer Aufführung aus dem Jahre 1811, ohne Ortsangabe © Klassik Stiftung Weimar / HAAB

Fire-breathing dragons on foam wedge cushions – a lesson in handling a psalter

Friederike Wolpert

In the reading room at the Bibliotheca Augusta – the main library building of the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel – researchers work with the research library's manuscript collections. I had ordered Cod. Guelf. 1147 Helmst., a fifteenth-century psalter and prayer book. The manuscript...

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Detail of a dragon and initial in the Cod. Guelf. 1147 Helmst., a psalter from the 15th century.

“Are you competing?” – Publishers in competition around 1900

Philip Ajouri

Goethe’s novel fragment Wilhelm Meisters theatralische Sendung (`Wilhelm Meister’s Theatrical Mission’, written between 1777 and 1785) was believed to be lost for many years. It was discovered in Zurich in December 1909 when a student brought the manuscript into class and asked his teacher...

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What role did legal and economic conditions play in the publication of classical literature around 1900? A telegram, stored in the archive at the Insel Verlag, provides a fascinating clue. It indicates how far publishers were willing to go to secure the first publication rights of a Goethe text. (Telegram from Adolf Kaegi to Anton Kippenberg, 17 March 1910, Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, A:Insel).

The Hound Pants and the Stag Bells - How images influence our understanding of psalms

Ursula Kundert

When translating, it is not always easy to find the perfect balance between producing a faithful reproduction of an original and expressing it in a contemporary form. With regard to a poetic book of the Bible, e. g. the Psalms, faithful reproduction also means expressing the formal...

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Event poster for a concert on 24 October 2011 by the North Hessian Chamber Choir featuring Psalm 42,2 set to music, based on Luther’s and English translations.