The Feuchtwanger Memorial Library was given to the University of Southern California by Marta Feuchtwanger, the widow of the German exile writer, Lion Feuchtwanger. In all, the Library contains nearly 30,000 volumes. Some 8,000 of the rarest books are housed on the USC campus, while 20,000 volumes remain on long-term loan at the Feuchtwanger's former residence, Villa Aurora, in Pacific Palisades.
Lion Feuchtwanger (1884-1958) fled Europe during World War II and lived in Los Angeles from 1941 until his death in 1958. He began his literary career as a theater critic and turned his talent to writing plays in the 1910s and 1920s. He first became internationally known, however, for his historical novel Jud Süss published in 1925. During his seventeen years in Southern California, he wrote primarily historical fiction including: Waffen für Amerika also called Die Füchse im Weinberg (1947-48; Proud Destiny), Goya oder Der arge Weg der Erkenntnis (1951; This is the Hour, a Novel about Goya), Spanische Ballade also called Die Jüdin von Toledo (1955; Raquel, the Jewess of Toledo), and Jefta und seine Tochter (1957; Jephta and his Daughter). Feuchtwanger's library reflects his interests in different historical periods and contains several noteworthy smaller collections of primary and secondary sources focusing on such subjects as Greek and Latin classics, Jewish and biblical history, the Enlightenment, French Revolution, German literature, and exile literature.
Authors collected by Lion Feuchtwanger included Cicero, Juvenal, Ovid, Sophocles, Thucydides, Virgil, Xenophon, among others.
Feuchtwanger wrote a trilogy covering the life of Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian of the first century: Der jüdische Krieg (1932; Josephus), Die Söhne (1935; The Jew of Rome) and Der Tag wird kommen (1942; The Day will Come, also called Josephus and the Emperor). Feuchtwanger acquired a large collection of the various editions and translations of the works of Flavius Josephus spanning 400 years of printing. The earliest of these is a Florentine edition from 1493 in Italian. Chronologically follow seven 16th century imprints, including a 1544 Greek edition by Froben, the famous Swiss printer. Feuchtwanger's collection also contains two seventeenth century editions, five 18th century imprints, and one 19th century volume.
As a lover of books who was interested in the history of printing, Feuchtwanger enjoyed collecting early printed books. One of his favorites was the Liber Chronicarum (the Nuremberg Chronicle) written by Hartmann Schedel and printed in 1493 by Anton Koberger. In all, there are eighteen incunabula.
Feuchtwanger's extensive collection of first editions and secondary works from this period include works by Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, Condorcet and Helvétius. Of special interest is the seventy-volume first edition of Voltaire's collected works edited by Beaumarchais and printed in Germany to circumvent French censors.
Feuchtwanger wrote several novels set around the time of the French Revolution and collected material from this period to support his research. In addition to books, he acquired pamphlets, defences of, and attacks on, the Jacobins, and political caricatures. One of the most interesting items in this group is a copy of Le Moniteur Universel covering the years from 1792-1813. This newspaper, founded by the famous Parisian bookseller Panckoucke, was the official governmental news organ under Napoleon. The newspaper is a rich source for social and economic history, as it covers not only the political events of the time, but also discusses the arts, the stock market, food prices, and more. Feuchtwanger's copy of Le Moniteur belonged to Napoleon's only son, the Duke of Reichstadt.
Not surprisingly, Feuchtwanger assembled an extensive collection of German first editions from the eighteenth century Sturm und Drang, and from the Romantic and Poetic Realism movements of the nineteenth century. Represented in first editions are Goethe, Grillparzer, Heine, Immermann, Jean-Paul, Klopstock, Lessing, Schiller, and Wieland.
Since Feuchtwanger was a well known member of the exile community in Los Angeles and kept in contact with many of his fellow literary exiles, he was given numerous inscribed copies of first editions by such writers and personal friends as Alfred Döblin, Bruno Frank, Oskar Maria Graf, Heinrich Mann, Thomas Mann, Ludwig Marcuse, Franz Werfel, and Arnold Zweig. There is as well manuscript material by some of these individuals.
The library contains a virtually complete collection of Feuchtwanger's own works in their numerous editions and translations. During his long career as a writer, Feuchtwanger wrote 19 plays, 19 novels, and numerous short stories and essays. Feuchtwanger's works have been, and continue to be, published in many countries, and his works have been translated into more than thirty languages.
The voluminous archival material collected by Lion Feuchtwanger includes his personal and business correspondence, multiple versions of his writings, reviews of his works, photographs, and other personal artifacts. In addition, the Archive contains the correspondence of Marta Feuchtwanger who survived her husband by almost thirty years. Marta Feuchtwanger remained an important figure in the exile community and devoted the remainder of her life to promoting the work of her husband. The Archive also includes correspondence and manuscript material from fellow exiles Hanns Eisler, Heinrich Mann, and Ludwig Marcuse.
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Lion Feuchtwanger und München
Die Jüdin von Toledo: Spanienbilder aus dem kalifornischen Exil
Erstmalige Verleihung der Auszeichnung in Stuttgart.
International Feuchtwanger Society
Members Meeting / Mitglieder-Treffen
Villa Aurora, Pacific Palisades
September 17, 2015
1. Welcome / Begrüßung
2. Treasurer’s Report / Bericht des Schatzmeisters
3. Election of Officers / Wahl des...