Collection ID: LMC 2268
Printable View Printable View

Collection context


Vennewitz, Leila, 1912-2007
The Vennewitz, Leila mss., 1964–2007, consists of the papers of translator Leila Vennewitz, 1912–2007.
2.5 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Materials are in English , German .
Preferred citation:

[Item], Vennewitz, Leila mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Biographical / Historical:

Leila Vennewitz, 1912-2007, was one of the most important literary translators from German in the second half of the twentieth century. Her major translations include the works of Nobel Prize winner Heinrich Böll, Alfred Andersch, Jurek Becker, Johannes Bobrowski, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Herman Hesse, Uwe Johnson, Walter Kemposki, Uwe Timm, Martin Walser and others. Vennewitz was born in England and lived most of her later life in Vancouver, Canada. Educated in England, she also attended the Sorbonne in Paris, where she studied French literature. While in Paris she began her study of German, which she later continued in Germany. Before moving to Canada with her husband, she spent twelve years with him in China, where she studied Chinese and Italian. Her long engagement with the work of Heinrich Böll began in 1964 and continued until his death in 1985. Over the course of her career, she won many awards, including the Schlegel–Tieck Prize in 1968 for "End of a Mission" (Ende einer Dienstfahrt) by Heinrich Böll, the Goethe House P.E.N. Prize in 1979 for "And Never Said a Word" (Und sagte kein einziges Wort) by Heinrich Böll, the American Translator's Association's German Literary Prize in 1989 for "Breakers" (Brandung) by Martin Walser, and the Kurt and Helen Wolff Prize (1997) for her translation of Jurek Becker's "Jakob the Liar" (Jacob der Lügner).

Scope and Content:

The collection includes correspondence, revised drafts, proofs, reviews, writings on translation, and other related materials from Vennewitz's work with Heinrich Böll, Juren Becker, Fritz Rudolf Fries, Martin Walser, and others.

The Böll series contains translations, drafts, correspondence, and other materials--in particular, those relating to "The Clown." Becker includes translations, drafts, correspondence, and other materials. Born includes reviews of "The Deception." Milo includes translations of "The Void." Fries includes drafts of his short stories collection, "The Television War," and miscellaneous documents. Johnson includes drafts of "Anniversaries II" and correspondence. Walser includes various drafts, reviews, correspondence, and miscellaneous materials. Translation Criticism includes the writings and speeches of Vennewitz regarding her work as translator. Miscellaneous Documents includes all other writings and documents from Vennewitz.

Acquisition information:
Donated: 2002

This collection is arranged into to following series: I. Heinrich Böll, II. Jurek Becker, III. Nicolas Born, IV. Milo Der, V. Fritz Rudolf Fries, VI. Uwe Johnson, VII. Martin Walser, VIII. Translation Criticism, and IX. Miscellaneous Documents.

Physical location:
Lilly - Stacks



This collection is open for research.

Many collections are housed offsite; retrieval requires advance notice. Please make an appointment a minimum of one week in advance of your visit.


[Item], Vennewitz, Leila mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana University Bloomington
1200 East Seventh Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500, USA
Indiana University Bloomington
(812) 855-2452