I've posted about German writers on stamps before, so I was rather taken by a brief piece in the trade mag Börsenblatt about a new Hans Fallada stamp, which was in some mysterious way issued by his publishers, Aufbau Verlag. I'm not quite sure how publishers manage to issue postage stamps, but apparently it's worth 55c (enough to send a small letter inside Germany), it's being given away to selected booksellers and journalists – and you can actually use it. And they also wanted to encourage the finance minister to use the picture for an official stamp. But there's not much chance of that, I'm afraid, for despite having posthumously sold a whopping 150,000 copies of the new extended director's cut of Jeder stirbt für sich allein, Hans Fallada already had his own stamp back in 1993.
A shame, really, that the German post office won't be doing the publisher's advertising for them free of charge. Although it is about time they put another writer on a stamp - the last one was Borges back in October of last year, marking Argentina's spot as guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Ah, literature meets philately - possibly one of the nerdiest combinations ever. Mind you, I did see a guy the other day wearing a "Star Wars Sucks" T-shirt. I think only a T-shirt printed with a fictitious Arno Schmidt postage stamp could possibly top that. And one day I'll get round to posting about German trains named after writers.