Reviews and Reports

Arbeit ist das halbe Leben…


  • Sarah Herbe Department of English and American Studies, University of Salzburg




Arbeit ist das halbe Leben…: Erzählungen vom Wandel der Arbeitswelten seit 1945 (“Working is Half your Life…: Telling the Transformations of the Working World since 1945”), Kinder – Küche – Karriere: Acht Frauen erzählen (“Kids – Kitchen – Career: Eight Women Tell their Stories”), and Eigene Wege: Eine Bergbäuerin erzählt (“My Own Ways: A Mountain Farmer Tells Her Story”) are among the most recent volumes of the series “Damit es nicht verlorengeht…” (translated as “Lest We Forget…” on the website of the Department of Economic and Social History of the University of Vienna), edited by the association for the “Dokumentation lebensgeschichtlicher Aufzeichnungen” (“Collection of Biographical Records”) in Vienna. Both the collection and the series were founded in 1983 by the historian Michael Mitterauer, two years after the re-launch of the Mass Observation project in the UK (Sheridan 27), with the aim to document and archive the everyday lives of Austrians. The collection holds autobiographical manuscripts by more than 3,000 people, most of them born in Austria after 1900 (see Müller 2009, 93–94). Many of the contributions were elicited with the help of calls for contributions (“Schreibaufrufe”) that aimed at collecting material on specific topics. Günter Müller, the curator of the collection, stresses the close cooperation of the association with those who respond to such calls: every single submission receives a detailed personal reply, and the respondents are assisted in their attempts to keep alive their memories and experiences for posterity.






This article was submitted to the European Journal of Life Writing on March 15th 2017 and published on April 27th 2017.

Author Biography

Sarah Herbe, Department of English and American Studies, University of Salzburg

Sarah Herbe  is an Elise-Richter Research Fellow (funded by the Austrian Science Fund) at the Department of English and American Studies, University of Salzburg. In the framework of her habilitation project she examines paratextual life writing in 17th and 18th-century poetry collections. Recent publications include journal articles on seventeenth-century poets William Cartwright and Thomas Beedome and on Sebastian Barry's The Secret Scripture, the monograph Characters in New British Hard Science Fiction (Winter, 2012), and the edited volume Life Course Models in Literary Genres (Winter, 2011). In 2011, she won the Award for Excellent Teaching of the University of Salzburg for a seminar on Women’s Life Writing.





Reviews and Reports