Encounters in Letters


Ulrich Matthes reads excerpts from
Franz Kafka’s correspondence

arranged by Gerhard Ahrens

‘You know that a letter is like a bellwether, a flock of twenty letters will follow,’ Franz Kafka wrote to his schoolmate Oskar Pollak in 1902 at the age of twenty. A few years later, he wrote to his first great love, Hedwig Weiler: ‘What good are encounters in letters; they are like ripples on the shores of a dividing lake. The pen has climbed the many hills shaped by the various letters of the alphabet and it is finished now; it is cold and I must go to my empty bed.’

Writing letters, reading letters, commenting on letters and thinking about letters was one of Franz Kafka’s main pursuits. He drafted them carefully, edited them like literary manuscripts, interlaced them with extensive narrated episodes that go way beyond mere correspondence, and copied pages and pages of them into his diary. Around 1,500 of Kafka’s letters have survived and provide an eloquent and extensive insight into his life.

Ulrich Matthes, who greatly impressed the Neuhardenberg audience with his reading of Kafka’s long, never sent Letter to His Father in 2008, will read excerpts from Franz Kafka’s letters. Ulrich Matthes has been a member of the ensemble of the Deutsches Theater in Berlin since 2004. He has received numerous awards, including the Gertrud-Eysoldt-Ring prize and the Theaterpreis Berlin awarded by the Stiftung Preußische Seehandlung foundation; he has won the accolade of ‘Actor of the Year’ twice, has received the FAUST theatre prize, the Adolf-Grimme-Preis television award and the prestigious Goldene Kamera film and television award in the best German actor category. He has been the Director of the Performing Arts Section at the Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts) Berlin since 2012.

Encounters in Letters


  • Sunday, 29.10.2017
  • 17 Uhr
  • Great Hall

€ 15 / concessions € 11

presented by
radioeins (rbb)

Advance bookings

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