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Hans Magnus Enzensberger

My Favourite Flops, followed by a wealth of ideas

Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Foto: Hans Magnus Enzensberger
© Jürgen Bauer

» […] one of Germany's leading public intellectualsLondon Review of Books

Hans Magnus Enzensberger was born in Kaufbeuren in 1929. As a poet, essayist, writer, publisher and translator, he is one of the world’s most influential and internationally renowned German intellectuals.
 

Awards (selection):
Sonningprisen 2010
Premio d’Annunzio 2006
Premio Principe de Asturias 2002
Heinrich-Heine-Preis 1998
Erich-Maria-Remarque-Friedenspreis 1993
Heinrich Böll-Preis 1985
Büchner-Preis 1963
Deutscher Kritikerpreis 1962

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English world rights (Seagull), Spanish rights Latin America (Capital Intelectual), Italy (Einaudi)

About

In this black book, Enzensberger sets his sights on a subject that many artistic contemporaries of his shun: failure.

»There are few experiences that I owe so much to; I would even say that my flops have found a place near to my heart over time. They provide insight into the production requirement, manners and usages of the cultural sector and help the unsuspecting person to gauge the snares, minefields and self-detonating devices that s/he should expect in this field.«

The author demonstrates this using stories and ideas, exposes, treatments, scenes and projects from fifty years. Much of what was scrapped or sent on the way to the cinema screen, theatre and opera stages, to magazines or publishing companies, whether justified or not, is reviewed in this black book.

Who or what was responsible for the smaller and greater defeats? Was it money, justice or one’s own cockiness? But for Enzensberger that is not the crux of the matter. Whinging, he says, is unhealthy. He would rather enjoy himself and to round things off, he leaves the reader ideas that he can help himself to, free of charge and postage.

Praise

»Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s fiery double blow: A book about his greatest flops and another about the wild sparks of his thoughts.« Zeit online on Meine Lieblings-Flops and Album

»The book of his best failures […] This is Enzenberger part and parcel […] An intellectual autobiography. An unbelievably lively, clever work, packed with ideas – a book for a movement […] Failure has seldom been conceived as such an opportunity by his contemporaries. His so-called flops are more interesting, richer and more instructional than some life works.« Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

»If Enzensberger didn’t exist, he’d have to be invented.« Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Other publications

Immer das Geld!/Nothing but Money! (2015)

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Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Der Hörverlag)

Tumult/Tumult (2014)

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Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook rights (Der Hörverlag), German Entire Radio Reading (HR), German Book Club (Büchergilde Gutenberg)

Verschwunden!/Gone! (2014)

Rights available

Herrn Zetts Betrachtungen, oder Brosamen, die er fallen ließ, aufgelesen von seinen Zuhörern/Mr. Zed’s Considerations or Crumbs That He Let Fall, Gleaned From His Listeners (2013)

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Domestic Rights Sales: German Radio Play (Hessischer Rundfunk), German Audiobook (Der Hörverlag)

Enzensbergers Panoptikum/Enzensberger’s Panoptikum (2012)

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Sanftes Monster Brüssel oder Die Entmündigung Europas/Tender Monster Brussels or the Disenfranchisement of Europe (2011)

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Album/Album (2010)

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Fortuna und Kalkül/Fortuna and Probability (2009)

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Hammerstein oder Der Eigensinn/Hammerstein or Idiosyncrasy (2008)

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Im Irrgarten der Intelligenz/The Labyrinth of Intelligence (2007)

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Schreckens Männer/Terror's Men (2006)

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Josefine und ich/Josefine and I (2006)

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Die Geschichte der Wolken/The History of the Clouds (2003)

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Die Elixiere der Wissenschaft/The Elixirs of Science (2002)

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Zickzack/Zigzag (1999)

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