Insights into the typescript of “Germany and the Germans” by Katrin Bedenig
A particularly interesting version of the speech typescript for “Germany and the Germans” has been preserved in the Thomas Mann Archive of the ETH Zurich (TMA). Katrin Bedenig, Director of the TMA allows us an exclusive glance at the typescript and gives us here an insight into two pages that make Thomas Mann’s working process directly comprehensible.
Sheet 7 shows us corrections in pencil, probably by Erika Mann, who very often helped Thomas Mann in English. We also find corrections by Thomas Mann in turquoise and black ink. This results in a total of at least 3 different correction processes.
On sheet 9 we find corrections by Thomas Mann not only in turquoise ink, but also in pencil. This also documents a fourth correction process. A special feature are also the small underlines, which are probably intended to indicate the emphasis in English.
But there is another treasure in the Thomas Mann Archive of the ETH Zurich that is directly connected to “Germany and the Germans:” These are handwritten note sheets by the author. The archive shows us two of these sheets here:
On sheet 16 you can see notes on “Germany and the Germans” in the typical notation style of Thomas Mann: Each topic is separated from the next topic by lines. When revising the notes, important passages are underlined in red. On this page, the third note is particularly easy to read: “Nietzsche on Luther, Letters of the Last Volume.”
Sheet 17 clearly shows the slow growth of the notes over time, as the writing instruments change from entry to entry. A note in black ink is followed at another time by a note in pencil. It contains dates and time calculations and begins with an entry on Thomas Mann’s birthplace: “Lübeck founded in 1143.”