MEGA finds a home

At long last, after almost four years of couch-surfing, hanging about in odd corners, taking up floor space … MEGA has a home. Since 2009, I’ve been collecting, borrowing, begging and possessing the available volumes of the Marx Engels Gesamtausgabe.



It took a bit of work, especially finding pieces of wood (which I never buy) long enough for a high bookshelf.


It reaches almost to the ceiling:


But it does mean that instead of sorting through piles of books, I can simply walk over to the shelf and find what I need:


That is, if it is in the volumes of MEGA published thus far (about half out of 112 double volumes):

IMG_9673 (2)a

I guess that’s why the Werke is across the room:



9 thoughts on “MEGA finds a home

  1. Roland, that very high structure and its contents are potentially a serious hazard for your grandchildren. It needs a safety fence, both physically and ideologically.

      1. Mum is right– an adventurous toddler may want not so much to climb those shelves and pull them down on top of her/him (bad enough!), but rather think of all that paper when they are old enough to use a bucket of crayons to draw huge squiggles on the pages of those priceless volumes.

        My son, now 27, used his extreme youth to conduct these experiments on books in my library that were infinitely less important than MEGA….

      2. Come to think of it, the grandchild’s father (my eldest son) used to take great delight in pulling every single book within reach off the shelves and tossing them in a huge pile. This was even before he could walk. Numerous times each day, I would find piles of such books. I jammed the books in tightly, so he simply tore off the spines with his fingers. It turned out to be simplest to leave them where deposited.

        His younger brother was not so enamoured with creative forms of stock-taking. He preferred the marvelous versatility of crayons. The world lay before him: walls, floors, beds, tables, chairs … and of course books. Finding that this was frowned upon, he would crawl into small corners where he felt no one could see, and let his artistic talents loose.

      3. My volumes of Xenophon were radically redacted by a not-yet-mobile but possessed-of-crayons baby. Xenophon was found on the bottom shelf, what with the alphabet and all. Point is, even a pre-mobile youngster can have strong ideas about Hellenistic philosophy.

  2. Incredible. Where/ how did you come by all these volumes? How long did it take? Who is the publisher? Sorry for all the ‘fanboy’ questions, but not being a professional academic, I’ve never seen them all together on one shelf like this. I won’t ask what their estimated ‘value’ is, wink, wink.

    1. Most of the detail is here: Version 1 of MEGA began in the 1970s, in Moscow and Berlin, but in 1990 the manuscripts were deftly moved to the IISH in Amsterdam. Version 2, which really focuses on the material not pubished with MEGA 1, proceeds at a snail’s pace. But it is a formidable task to edit each volume and its critical apparatus. MEGA 1 is easy to get, since in the German context of denigrating the DDR (, many east German libraries dumped their rich collections of Marxist works and they are available through second hand book shops. MEGA 2 is a little more pricey.

  3. Do not want to comment too often, but must make this one: Roland, do you remember putting alight newspaper in Dad’s study, which was temporarily in the vestry of the church in Orange? And writing on the church walls and steps?

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