This article deals with the issue of authorship in Anna Seghers’ oeuvre. Starting from her first short story “Die Toten auf der Insel Djal. Eine Sage nacherzahlt von Antje Seghers”, which was published anonymously in 1924, the issue of authorship proves to be one of the most important in Seghers’ poetics. The narrator of this uncanny story about death and resurrection bears the name which a few years later was to be the pseudonym adopted by Netty Reiling, i.e. Anna Seghers. By means of this literary device the future “Anna Seghers” seems to arise from her own fiction, as though the author was produced by the text itself. In other words, the question posed by Michel Foucault in his famous essay “What is an author?” can find an interesting literary prefiguration in Anna Seghers’ writings.
Anna Seghers; authorship; death; literature; narration