First unabridged edition of Seume's autobiography "My Life

Project description

Johann Gottfried Seume's frank autobiography My Life is one of the most important memoirs from the so-called "Goethe period," but to this day it is known only in the abridged and smoothed version published by the publisher Georg Joachim Göschen three years after his friend's death in 1813 for fear of censorship and criticism. All works and individual editions available since then, as well as all literary-historical accounts and philological studies, are based on this then mutilated version. However, Seume's original manuscript of his life story has survived the adverse course of time: the manuscript, formerly in the possession of Stefan Zweig, is now part of the rich holdings of the Bibliotheca Bodmeriana in Cologny near Geneva, which has now agreed with the Research Center to prepare a text-critical and extensively annotated edition of the complete manuscript. This first unabridged edition was published by Wallstein Verlag (Göttingen) in January 2018.


Project staff
(Gotha Research Centre)


Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Culture (Hamburg)

Book cover of "My life - Johann Gottfried Seume" by Dirk Sangmeister