The other library

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The Other Library is a bibliophile series of books published by Hans Magnus Enzensberger from 1985 to 2004 and designed by Franz Greno . Michael Naumann and Klaus Harpprecht worked as editors from October 2007 to the end of 2010 . As of 2011, the program management was transferred to Christian Döring , who had accompanied the series as a lecturer since autumn 2009 .

Edition history

Complete edition of the essays (1998)

The devised by Enzensberger together with publishers and book artist Greno concept was every month to publish a content and form excellent book selected by Enzensberger and Greno with the highest quality design and in the printing and publishing in Nördlingen produced was and sold. The volumes of the Other Library were set in lead type according to the old rules of the art of printing until December 1996 and equipped with leather spine labels and bookmarks. From October 1989 took Vito of calibration fount the Other library of Greno in the calibration fount publishing house, Franz Greno remained until 2007 more than book artist to design the volumes responsible. In 1997 (from volume 145) Greno's printing process was converted to offset printing , as computer typesetting meanwhile “exceeded the standard of the best metal typesetting”. In November 2011, it was announced that after the bankruptcy of Eichborn Verlag , Die Andere Bibliothek would continue to operate as an independent publisher - "AB - Die Andere Bibliothek GmbH & Co. KG" - within the construction group from January 2012 .

For bibliophiles there was a limited and numbered special edition of every edition from 1985 to 2007, limited to 999 copies. The first 36 volumes have a cover made of hand punch tape à Fleur with real eingeschöpften flowers and leaves from the Auvergne , protected by a leather slipcase of Indian goat leather . From volume 37 the special edition appeared in a goatskin cover. All volumes that have a red, green, purple or black title plate with gold embossing are original editions. After every 36 volumes (three years) a different color was used for the title label: from 1985 to 1987 red, from 1988 green, from 1991 purple, from 1994 black and from 1997 until today red.

Since the start of the series in January 1985 with lies and dialogues by Lukian von Samosata , a colorful spectrum of rediscovered classics, unjustly forgotten literary treasures and original editions and German first editions by writers from other cultures unknown in German-speaking countries have appeared in the Other Library . In addition to spectacular successes such as Christoph Ransmayr's The Last World with a total circulation of more than 150,000 copies, Irene Disches stories Fromme Lügen , Rolf Vollmann's “Roman (seducer)” Die Wunderbaren Counterfeiters and Raoul Schrott's invention of poetry , the Other Library moved with many Titles off the mainstream . Michel de Montaigne's Essais was published in 1998 as a special volume in a different quarto format . The translator is Hans Stilett .

In the course of time, several volumes were published by several authors:

Of the 222nd volume, Gustave Flauberts Bouvard and Pécuchet , only around 2,000 copies of the first edition came on the market in the original version. In the case of the remaining copies , the images in the comment section on pages 419, 425, 426, 445, 448, 451 were removed due to a ruling by the Frankfurt am Main Regional Court of July 9, 2003, which the translator Hans-Horst Henschen had obtained against the publisher pasted over. This volume is likely to be the rarest edition of the Other Library in its original version .

On November 27, 1999, on the initiative of Eichborn Verlag, the “Reading Society for Other Libraries eV” was founded at Schloss Vollrads in the Rheingau. This literary society should offer friends of bibliophile works the opportunity for literary exchange. Challenging trips are organized every six months, with readings by authors from the Other Library .

The publication of an Alexander von Humboldt edition in September 2004 with a series of events in Berlin was a high media attention in the 20-year history of the edition with Enzensberger and Greno. Shortly before Christmas 2004, Enzensberger emailed authors, employees and the publishing house to announce his departure from the project. Although he strove to continue the other library with the participation of the publisher of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , but after a year and a half legal dispute, the rights remained with Eichborn Verlag. In a transition phase from volumes 254 to 273, the authors edited the volumes themselves under the editing of Wolfgang Hörner. With the special volume of Georg Forster's “Reise um die Welt”, which appeared in October 2007, the journalists Michael Naumann and Klaus Harpprecht took over the editing ; After more than 20 years of artistic book design by Franz Greno , the typography and design of the volumes came from Christian Ide, Professor of Publishing Production at the HTWK Leipzig , and the freelance book designer Lisa Neuhalfen. From October 2008, the equipment and graphic design of the series were taken care of by Cosima Schneider and Susanne Reeh from the production and graphics department of Eichborn Verlag.

At the end of 2010, the Other Library moved from Frankfurt to Berlin, to the Aufbau Haus on Moritzplatz . Since July 2012, each volume has been designed by a different book artist, for example Friedrich Forssman , Sabine Golde, Manja Hellpap, Victor Malsy or Wim Westerveld. Renate Stefan is responsible for the production management.

Vladimir Jabotinsky's December volume 2012 "The Five" is one of the best-selling titles in recent years. Among the folio volumes in the Other Library , Adelbert von Chamisso's “Reise um die Welt” is one of the most successful books; likewise the stories of the Brothers Grimm presented by the fairy tale researcher Heinz Rölleke and the artist Albert Schindehütte (“Once upon a time ... the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and who told them”).

Since 2013, in addition to the monthly “original editions” and the folio volumes in large format, the “Extradrucke der Other Bibliothek” (self-name of the subsequent editions of out-of-print original editions with modified layout) and, since 2015, the “large books in small format” with collections of shorter works and texts by classics have been published outside the series of monthly volumes.

The original editions have been limited to 4,444 copies since volume 331 ( Fritz Rudolf Fries : Der Weg nach Oobliadooh ). In addition to sales in bookstores, there is a subscription model that allows the monthly volumes to be obtained at reduced rates.

The publisher has collected some important prizes:

2015: The Book Art Foundation named Michael Glawogger's collection of stories “69 Hotelzimmer” the “Most Beautiful German Book 2015”.

2017: Johann Friedrich von Cotta Prize for Literature and Translation from the City of Stuttgart to Petra Strien for the transmission of Miguel de Cervantes ' novel “The Odds of Persiles and Sigismunda”.

2019: Eva Ruth Wemme was awarded the Leipzig Book Fair 2019 prize in the translation category. She received the award for her translation of Gabriela Adameşteanu's novel “Lost Morning” from Romanian.

Patricia Görg receives the Italo Svevo Prize 2019 and a. for “glass. An art".

The Straelen Translator Award of the Kunststiftung NRW 2019 went to the translator Olga Radetzkaja for her translation of Viktor Schklowskij's novel “Sentimentale Reise” from Russian and her life's work as a translator.

Brief overview

  • 1. Series AB 1–36: Red labels, special edition handmade paper in a leather slipcase with an addition
  • 2. Series AB 37–72: Green labels, special edition olive green leather
  • 3. Series AB 73–108: purple labels, special edition burgundy leather
  • 4. Series AB 109–144: black labels, special edition cobalt blue leather
  • 5. Series AB 145–273: Red tags, special edition leather speckled brown, no lead type. AB 251 was announced but never appeared.
  • 6. Series AB since 274: New start by a different publisher, red tags, different font on the tag, no special edition.

Issues (selection, alphabetically)

See also



  • The University Library of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich dedicated an exhibition to the “Other Library” from May 26th to October 9th 2015 on the occasion of its 30th anniversary under the theme The Other Library - 30 Years: The beautiful book as an event and staging .
  • Wilhelm Haefs, Rainer Schmitz: The Chronicle of the Other Library. Volumes N ° 1-400 . Ed .: Christian Döring. AB - Die Other Bibliothek GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-8477-9990-0 .

Web links

Commons : The other library  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


Individual evidence

  1. Judith von Sternburg: "That is a bogeyman". Interview with Christian Döring. In: Frankfurter Rundschau. March 27, 2010, accessed September 2, 2018 .
  2. The Other Library - A Review of 20 Years. ( Memento of January 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ). Eichborn Publishing House .
  3. ^ Sda : Aufbau Gruppe takes over Enzensberger's «Die Andere Bibliothek». In: Berner Zeitung . November 15, 2011.
  4. Michel de Montaigne: Essais - First modern complete translation by Hans Stilett. Eichborn Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-8218-4472-8 , publisher's notes, p. 575.
  5. Marius Fraenzel: Unnoticed literature scandal? In: , August 14, 2003. (
  6. ^ Press service: Reading society Other library visits Speyer. ( Memento from January 18, 2012 in the Internet Archive ). In: City of Speyer. May 2001.
  7. ^ Armin Klein: Visitor loyalty in the cultural sector. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften , Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-531-15469-5 , pp. 204f. (
  8. Humboldt Portal (only front page). ( Memento from September 16, 2004 in the Internet Archive ). In: Eichborn Verlag .
  9. Kick-off events for the Humboldt Project. ( Memento from October 19, 2007 in the web archive ). In: Humboldt Portal. September 14, 2004.
  10. Alex Humboldt Superstar. ( Memento of December 6, 2010 in the Internet Archive ). In: BerliNews. September 16, 2004.
  11. Marius Meller: With spirit and enjoyment. Enzensberger wants to discontinue the "other library". Too early for an obituary. In: Tagesspiegel . December 22, 2004.
  12. ^ Claus Christian Malzahn : Completely different library. The double Enzensberger. In: Spiegel online . May 14, 2005. (
  13. hoc / dpa : 'Other library' will be continued. In: Spiegel online. September 19, 2006.
  14. "How to make beautiful books, Renate Stefan?" . In: BuchMarkt , "The Sunday Talk", May 31, 2013.
  15. Christian Döring : "Die Fünf" already out of print as the original edition - as a successful edition can be pre-ordered! . In: The Other Library. January 25, 2013.
  16. Luise Checchin: Blue flower, beautiful letters. For the thirtieth anniversary, a Munich exhibition pays tribute to “The Other Library”. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . June 2, 2015, p. 12. (
  17. Exhibition: The beautiful book as an event and staging. 30 years of the book series “The Other Library”. In: University Library of the LMU Munich , 2015. (