The legacy of writer and philosopher Susan Taubes, born Feldmann (1928–1969), has been researched and archived at ZfL since 2003. Investigation into Taubes’ writings reveals a brilliant, independent thinker whose life and writings provide first-hand testimony into the volatile history of the 20th century. Her literary and cultural work document the experience of exile and reflect her passionate involvement in the intellectual awakening of post-war culture in the USA and Europe during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Taubes’ unconventional life and career are not only well documented in the published sections of her work, but also notable in her literary estate. Collected materials include a large number of literary manuscripts, journal entries, and correspondence with her husband, the philosopher and professor of history of religion, Jacob Taubes (1923–1987), in the years following their marriage. These materials provide the basis for the present research project. The first phase of the project entailed a thorough inspection and organization of the materials involved. Extensive research into the biographical and historical contexts of the archives followed thereafter, assisted by interviews with witnesses as well as the intensive cooperation of Ethan Taubes of New York and Noémi Földes of Budapest. The first volume of the edition was successfully published in 2011. It presented Taubes’ correspondence with her husband part of whose literary estate is also currently undergoing research for another project at ZfL.
The volumes currently underway include an edition of other writings from Susan Taubes’ literary estate, including her academic essays and 1956 dissertation, as well as a re-publication of her novel Divorcing. The letters and private notes, in particular, will be collected and submitted for commentary.
The establishment of the literary estate was sponsored by Stiftung Preußische Seehandlung.