Comparable to the work of Kafka, Döblin, and Musil, Ernst Barlach's prose reflects the crisis of modern consciousness as it has become tangible for classical modernity since the end of the 19th century, sharpened by the First World War. The trusted certainties, especially the belief in progress and in the authority of technical-scientific reason have been shaken. Uncertainty, the questioning of the world experienced as a façade and its values, "the panicky horror of an existence thus created" (EB), are testimonies to an epoch - including the sometimes desperate search for different, a better world. With this critical edition of the entire prose, the Hamburg literary scientist Ulrich Bubrowski has set editorial standards. On some 4500 pages, this 11-volume edition is the first to fully reflect the literary diversity of Ernst Barlach. Up to now, only half of the works now edited have been accessible, and in addition, they were unreliable in their textual form, sometimes considerably shortened. Without exception, the individual texts have been newly compiled from the manuscripts. They are all presented in authentic text form, i.e. unembellished, naturally unabridged, including the abruptness and orthographical idiosyncrasies of the manuscripts, and sometimes including erased passages, i.e. in the condition in which the author left them.