Writing the City: Berlin literature anthologies

Berlin Tales Book Cover
Image: Lyn Marven selected as well as translated the texts for the anthology Berlin Tales


Lyn Marven’s project on literary anthologies has grown out of her longstanding research into Berlin literature, and particularly from her recent chapter ‘Writing by Women’ for the Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Berlin (ed. Andrew Webber): for this chapter, Lyn analysed the presence (or absence) of women writers in a small selection of anthologies ranging across the 20th century.

The project also draws on Lyn’s experience of compiling an anthology of Berlin literature, which she also translated, as Berlin Tales (Oxford University Press).

The project

In this project, Lyn will examine a corpus of over 200 German-language anthologies of Berlin literature, stretching from 1885 to the present day, examining the development of the anthology form and its relationship to the literary history of Berlin and especially the much-analysed ‘Berlin novel’.

Anthologies reflect and address key moments in the city’s history, and in their selection and organisation of texts set out an idealised conception of the city. Lyn is particularly interested in the changing representation of women writers, writers with a migration background, and literature in translation in Berlin anthologies, and the relationship between the anthology form and other related forms, such as literary guides.

Lyn has published an article on city anthologies, using Berlin as a case study, in Modern Languages Open, and is now developing her analysis into a full-length study.


Lyn’s publications on Berlin literature include: