KISCH, ERWIN EGON
Important archive of autograph and typed letters signed and autograph postcards signed ("Egonek"), in German and Czech, to Jarmila Haasová
a closely written series, including: over 50 autograph letters, a few with postscripts by Gisela Lyner, and c.30 typed letters signed by Kisch; c.49 autograph postcards signed, some also inscribed and signed by Gisela Lyner; and three other autograph postcards to Josef Bornstein and Willy Haas, ABOUT HIS WRITINGS AND HIS TRAVELS, INCLUDING TO RUSSIA, ASIA, FRANCE, SPAIN AND ELSEWHERE, discussing matters relating to the translation of his works, life in Nazi-Germany ("...Auf die Strasse wehen Nazi-Fahnen, denn Hitler ist erstanden, schön seh[e]n wir aus..."), mentioning his brother Bedrich, Maxim Gorky, Romain Rolland, Henri Barbusse, Karl Radek, Theodore Dreiser, Erika Mann, André Gide, Charlie Chaplin, André Malraux, Upton Sinclair, Lion Feuchtwanger, Klaus Mann, and Paul Eisner, and touching on many other matters; together with c.29 separate typed letters, mostly signed, and 6 autograph letters signed, by Gisela Lyner to Haasová
...Nun, abgesehen davon, dass es mich beträcht, Dir kein Lebenszeichen schicken zu können, kannst Du Dir nicht vorstellen, in welcher Situation ich mich befinde, nichts davon zu wissen, wie es Dir geht, nachdem Dein letztes Telegramm vor 2 Monaten noch aus dem Sanatorium war....Ich kann nur hoffen, dass Deine fürchtbar schwere Zeit endlich glücklich vorbei. Was mich anbelangt, so habe ich wahnsinnig viel gesehen, Erstaunliches und Wunderbares, Neuartiges und Grossartiges, Orient und Kommunismus...und Industrialisierung. Geschrieben habe ich in diesem Reiserummel fast gar nichts, ja ich konnte nicht einmal meine Eindrücke im Gehirn ordnen, eine Impression verdrängt die andere, und so bin ich innerlich voll befriedigt, noch glaube ich, imstande zu sein, ein so interessantes Buch über Asien schreiben zu können, wie es dem Erlebten entsprechen würde...
together with: c.22 printed literary publications, including Das Tage Buch, vii/22 (29 May 1926), Die Neue Bücher Schau, vii (December 1927), Sieben Jahre Justizskandal Max Hoelz (Berlin, 1928), Die Weltbühne, xxvi, no.19, 23 and 35 (6 May, 3 June and 26 August 1930), Das Wort, ii (1937), Egon Erwin Kisch zum 60. Geburtstag (London, 1945), a few inscribed by Kisch, containing articles and other writings by him on the first six months of Nazi rule in Germany, Warsaw the day after the May Coup, Moscow's Lefortovo prison, Prague café life, literature between the wars, his schooldays at the Prague Nikolander-Realschule and many other subjects; a printed identity card of Kisch as reserve lieutenant, signed, Kriegspressequartier, 1917; a certificate of discharge, signed, from the S.S. Jefferson Myers, Los Angeles, 5 February 1929; 66 BLACK-AND-WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS, including c.35 of Kisch, showing him as a sailor and a soldier, one with Charlie Chaplin, a number annotated on the reverse by Kisch, and 18 of Jarmila Haasová; an International Brigade blue cap with silver-coloured tassle sent by Kisch from Spain to Haasová in Prague; a copy of Brecht Die Songs der 3 Groschen Oper (Potsdam, 1928), signed by Haasová; and A PLASTER CAST DEATH MASK OF KISCH AND CAST OF HIS RIGHT HAND, both mounted on wood, by the Czech artist Václav Blazek
over 260 items in all, various sizes, some letters on printed stationery ("Egon Erwin Kisch"), with a typed letter signed by John Fisher, on headed paper of the Australian newspaper The Labor Daily, many letters with autograph envelopes, also with two unwritten postcards from Brno and Kostrzyn, and a copy of Egon Erwin Kisch. Briefe an Jarmila, ed. Klaus Haupt (Berlin, 1998), the letters and postcards dated Berlin, Valencia, Moscow, Beijing, London, Los Angeles and elsewhere, 1922-1946, one letter repaired with translucent adhesive tape
Egon Erwin Kisch (1885-1948), the self-styled 'Raging Reporter' ("der rasende Reporter"), was among the most celebrated journalists of his generation, a cultural phenomenon, and a witness to some of the most turbulent events of the twentieth century. Noted for his interest in the marginalized in society, his strong social conscience and opposition to Nazism, he is credited with having created from mere reportage and ephemeral journalism a literary genre of the first order.
Prominent here are the two central women in the life of the 'Raging Reporter', as notable for his amorous escapades as he was famous for his daring stunts (such as his controversial entry into Australia in November 1934, when he broke his leg leaping from ship to shore): the love of his life, Jarmila Haasová, to whom Kisch's letters are addressed, and Gisela Lyner ("Gisl"), his secretary and wife (from October 1938), represented by over thirty letters to Haasová. The plaster cast death mask and cast of Kisch's right hand included in this lot belonged formerly to Haasová; a second set of each was owned by Gisela Kisch and is now in the Museum of Czech Literature, Prague.
Klaus Haupt, ed., Egon Erwin Kisch. Briefe an Jarmila (Berlin, 1998)
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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