Thursday, October 21, 2010

Diary of A Lost Girl: from Book to Film

The Louise Brooks film, Diary of a Lost Girl, is based on a controversial and bestselling book first published in Germany in 1905. Though little known today, the book, Tagebuch Einer Verlorenen, was a literary sensation at the beginning of the 20th century. Spirited debate and even lawsuits followed its publication. By the end of the Twenties, it had sold more than 1,200,000 copies – ranking it among the bestselling books of its time.

Was it – as many believed – the real-life diary of a young woman forced by circumstance into a life of prostitution? Or a sensational and clever fake, one of the first novels of its kind? This contested work – a work of unusual historical significance as well as literary sophistication – inspired a sequel, a play, a parody, a score of imitators, and two silent films. The best remembered of these is the still revived 1929 G.W. Pabst film starring screen legend Louise Brooks.

A new edition of the original English language translation brings this important book back into print in the United States after more than 100 years. It includes an introduction by local film historian and Director of the Louise Brooks Society, Thomas Gladysz, detailing the book's remarkable history and relationship to the acclaimed 1929 film. This special "Louise Brooks Edition" also includes more than three dozen vintage illustrations.

Thomas Gladysz will screen the Louise Brooks classic and discuss the history of the book to film in the Koret Auditorium on November 14th at 1 p.m.

To accompany this program, the Art, Music and Recreation Center is presenting a display that features rare editions of Tagebuch Einer Verlorenen as well as movie stills and a poster of Louise Brooks. This display located on the Library's fourth floor will be on view through November 21, 2010.

1 comment:

Louise Brooks Society said...

The November 14th event at the SFPL got a mention on Deutsche Welle, the German news site. The article, "Forgotten book by Margarete Boehme to be revived in US," can be found at,,6171021,00.html