Unpacking My Library, or, The Autobiography of Teddy – E-BOOK

— Allen S. Weiss

The author takes advantage of a move to Manhattan to take stock of his books, inspired by Walter Benjamin's famous essay Unpacking My Library. During the endless hours spent between dust and boxes, he realizes that his real business is to face his past as well as that of his parents, survivors of the Holocaust. The unexpected discovery of Teddy, his teddy bear that had been hidden for four decades, upsets him. Teddy turns out to be the guardian of childhood and enjoins the author to write his biography. Books, toys, and Teddy gradually plunge the writer into a dreamlike chaos that is the time of memory. Allen S. Weiss moves freely in the labyrinth of his memory, weaves together quotes and philosophical reflections, and offers us an erudite, funny, and moving text.


Allen S. Weiss is the author and editor of over forty books, including Phantasmic Radio; Feast and Folly; and Zen Landscapes; he also contributed the photographic illustrations to Chantal Thomas, East Village Blues. His radio work includes L’Indomptable (a documentary on dolls for France Culture, co-produced with Gregory Whitehead) and Glissando (Deutschlandfunk Kultur). He directed Theater of the Ears / Théâtre des oreilles (a play for electronic marionette and taped voice based on the writings of Valère Novarina), whose tour ended at the Avignon OFF Festival, and Danse macabre (a marionette theater for the dolls of Michel Nedjar), which was featured in the exhibition and catalog Poupées (Gallimard) that he curated at the Halle Saint Pierre in Paris, and then appeared in three forms (performance, installation, theater) at the In Transit Festival of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. Most recently, he directed and produced (with Tom Rasky) a documentary film on Nedjar, Poupées des ténèbres / Dolls of Darkness. He is Distinguished Teacher in the Departments of Performance Studies and Cinema Studies in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.


Unpacking My Library, or, The Autobiography of Teddy. Text by Allen S. Weiss

Edited by Etienne Turpin and designed by K. Verlag in collaboration with Wolfgang Hückel & Katharina Tauer


Audio reading by the author


The .ebook edition

116 pages
ISBN 978-3-947858-18-7


Published in 2020


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