Meine Geschichte reconfigures selected passages from Befreiung und Wanderleben (Liberation and the Wandering Life), the final part in Meine Lebensgeschichte (My Life Story), the autobiography by 19th century author Fanny Lewald (1811–1889), to create a new novelette. With the original text as her unique source material, Laufer cut and reorganized the passages out of their original context, according to moods and rhythm. Essentially an ensemble of annotated quotes, the recreated novelette engages in an obsessive dialogue with its source, sustaining a constant play between layers of time and experience.
Of Jewish-Prussian origin, Lewald gained considerable fame and popularity in the mid 19th century, yet nowadays she is known mostly among historians and literary scholars. Written in the form of a monologue, Meine Lebensgeschichte is narrated from the standpoint of the 30 year-old author, recently relocated to Berlin and looking back at her past literary endeavors. It was there, in Berlin, that her writing talent was first recognized and rewarded, and we follow her as her emotional overture and detailed observations gradually take over the narrative.
In Laufer’s recreated novelette, Lewald’s first-person perspective is broken down into a multitude of strands and points of view. Are these independent narrators or rather one and the same woman being described from different standpoints? Does the narrator speak of another woman? Is she being described by a third person? Although each word comes from Lewald’s book, this story appears to be Laufer’s own.