Essays

(29) 1, 2 

Wolfgang Bauer

Across the Sea

There is a humanitarian catastrophe happening in front of our eyes: The Syrian civil war continues to claim hundreds of lives. Millions of Syrians are fleeing, some of them risk the transit from Egypt to Europe by boat. Each year, hundreds of people die during this endeavour, making the Mediterranean the most dangerous sea boarder in the world.

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English world rights (And Other Stories), Spanish world rights (Capitán Swing), Chinese complex rights (Ye-ren), Arabic world rights (Al-Arabi), French world rights (Lux Éditeur), Italy (La Nuova Frontiera), Poland (Czarne), Czech Republic (Grada), Croatia (Sandorf), Turkey (Ayrinti)

Ulrich Beck

German Europe

In his famous speech in Hamburg in 1953, Thomas Mann warned the Germans never again to strive for a »German Europe«. As a result of the Euro crisis, however, that is exactly what has happened: the continent’s strongest economic power is in a position to dictate the terms under which struggling Euro nations can apply for further credit, to the point where the democratic autonomy of the Greek, Italian, Spanish – and ultimately also the German – parliaments are completely eroded.

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English world rights (Polity), Spanish world rights (Paidos), Chinese simplex rights (Tongji UP), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Paz e Terra), Portugal (Ediçoes 70), Arabic world rights (Al Kamel), France (Autrement), Italy (Laterza), Norway (Abstrakt), Korea (Dolbegae), Japan (Iwanami), Poland (PWN), Czech Republic (Filosofia), Hungary (Belvedere Meridoniale), Bulgaria (K&X), Serbia (Megatrend University), Greece (Patakis)

Ulla Berkéwicz

Maybe We'll All Go Mad

In the global world, the different peoples reveal their most dangerous common features in the shape of an almost archaic, bloody form of fundamentalism. 223 years after Lessing wrote his Nathan, the »parable of the rings«, in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001 the Enlightenment seems to have imploded and religions are apparently once more giving the commands.

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English world rights (Banyan Tree - published, rights reverted), Spanish world rights (Losada - published, rights reverted), Arabic world rights (Al-Kamel - published, rights reverted), Italy (Casagrande - published, rights reverted), Netherlands (Aspekt - published, rights reverted), Greece (Kastaniotis - published, rights reverted), Israel (Hakibbutz Hameuchad - published, rights reverted)

Marcel Beyer

The Century that Cried itself Blind

Considering this current moment of great change as well as the 20th century when death became a master from Germany, is literature still possible? Does it still have a reason for being in a post-Auschwitz world where all cultural production can only be an expression of barbarism? Or is literature necessary, indeed indispensible, precisely because of such atrocities? Which methods must such a literature use? The 2016 Georg Büchner Prize-winning writer examines these questions and more in his poetic explorations and has a succinct and far-reaching answer at hand: through the fine-tuning of the material of reality like literature.

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Dietmar Dath

No Conference Today

»I only produce shit nowadays,« reads a diary entry by Arno Schmidt, meaning: journalistic texts for newspapers. Since 1990, Dietmar Dath has published heaps of – well: journalistic, satirical, and essayistic texts and by doing so has created his very own fan base.

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Dietmar Dath

Saltwhite Eyes

»Dear Sonja,« David writes in these enlightening and desperate letters to a revered classmate from days long gone, »looking back isn’t always the best idea: Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.«

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Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Fortuna and Probability

Since time immemorial man has developed ways of coping with the seemingly unpredictable vicissitudes of his existence. But the modern age was not content with the old incantations of the shamans and magicians. Which is why superstition and irrationality were replaced by probability, and people no longer spoke of fate but of chance.

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English world rights (Upper West Side Philosophers), France (Jacqueline Chambon), Netherlands (De Bezige Bij)

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

The Labyrinth of Intelligence

Intelligence, along with flexibility and the ability to work in a team, is the cardinal virtue of today’s world. However, using tests to make objective sense of subjective results leads to curious geometric figures, rows of numbers and or animals, of which one apparently does not fit with the others.

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Spanish world rights (Anagrama), Italy (Einaudi), Finland (Savukeidas), Estonia (Loomingu Raamatukogu)

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Tender Monster Brussels or the Disenfranchisement of Europe

»Europe is on everyone’s lips these days. Mistrust is rife against the distant institution in Brussels. What, more and more Europeans ask themselves, do our largely unknown custodians do behind mirrored facades, mostly closed doors and with a highly questionable legitimisation?«

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English world rights (Seagull), Spanish world rights (Anagrama), Catalan rights (Arcadia), Portuguese rights (Relogio d'Agua), Chinese simplex rights (Beijing Fonghong Books), France (Gallimard), Italy (Einaudi), Netherlands (Cossee), Denmark (Hovedland), Sweden (Karneval), Norway (Valdisholm), Croatia (Meandarmedia), Greece (Nefeli)

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Terror's Men

The eagerness with which school children, jihadists, family men and suicide bombers take arms to end their lives, and as many others as possible, puzzles most of us. »One needn't understand everything, but an attempt can't hurt«, is this essay's motto, which Hans Magnus Enzensberger has dedicated to »Radical Underdogs«.

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Spanish world rights (Anagrama, Latin American Sublicense: La Pagina), Portuguese rights (Sudoeste Editora), Arabic world rights (Diwan Al Masar), France (Gallimard), Italy (Einaudi), Netherlands (Cossée), Denmark (Gyldendal), Norway (Valdisholm), Finland (Savukeidas), Czech Republic (Pavel Mervart), Romania (ART)

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Zigzag

This volume features works written between 1989 and 1996. Three essays are published for the first time, the others remain unaltered except for minimal stylistic changes.

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English world rights (The New Press - published, rights reverted), Spanish world rights (Anagrama - published, rights reverted), Brazil (Imago Editora - published, rights reverted), France (Gallimard), Italy (Einaudi - published, rights reverted), Denmark (Gyldendal - published, rights reverted), Sweden - (Geelmuyden - published, rights reverted), Greece (Scripta Publishing)

Urs Faes

Request Stop

Request Stop is Urs Faes' most intimate book to date, which grew out of his personal experience of sickness and was written so as to be able to hold on to a pen, to words, to images and to memory. Writing as self-defence against one’s own frailty – and in so doing, coming face to face with life.

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Jürgen Habermas

On Europe's Constitution

»In the face of a politically unregulated rise in global social complexity which systemically and increasingly restricts the autonomy of the nation state, the normative function of democracy itself requires that political agency be expanded beyond national boundaries.« Jürgen Habermas

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English world rights (Polity), Spanish world rights (Trotta), Chinese simplex rights (Shanghai People's Publishing House), Russia (Ves Mir), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Editora UNESP), Portugal (Ediçoes 70), France (Gallimard), Italy (Laterza), Netherlands (Klement), Sweden (Ersatz), Japan (Hosei UP), Poland (Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego), Czech Republic (Filosofia), Slovakia (Kalligram), Hungary (Atlantisz), Bulgaria (Critique & Humanism), Romania (comunicare.ro), Bosnia (Fondacija Centar za javno pravo ), Turkey (Bilgi UP), Greece (Patakis), Albania (Asdreni)

Peter Handke

Days and Works

In 2013, quietly and in solitude, Peter Handke celebrated his vocational anniversary: in June 1963 he became certain that »writing, taking notes, drawing connections, and leaving things disconnected would be a possible vocation for me«.

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Italy (Guanda)

Axel Honneth

The Idea of Socialism

The idea of socialism, which for the past 150 years has provided the normative foundation and historical orientation for the dissatisfaction with the conditions of life under capitalism, seems now to have lost all its power of attraction. Despite growing discontent, it nevertheless seems all but impossible nowadays for anyone to take that idea as a basis for a form of life beyond capitalism.

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English world rights (Polity), Spanish world rights (Katz), Chinese simplex rights (ViHorae), Brazil (Martins Fontes), Portugal (Edicoes 70), Arabic world rights (Librairie Orientale), France (Gallimard), Italy (Feltrinelli), Denmark (Reitzels), Finland (Gaudeamus), Japan (Hosei UP), Slovakia (Veda), Slovenia (Krtina), Turkey (Iletisim), Greece (Polis), Iran (Qoqnoos)

Eva Illouz

Hard-Core Romance

E.L. James’ BDSM trilogy Shades of Grey was an enormous success worldwide, particularly with women. But why? Because of the allegedly pornographic content? Because it was backed by a cleverly formulated marketing strategy?

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English world rights (Chicago UP), Spanish world rights (Katz), France (Seuil), Italy (Mimesis), Netherlands (Nieuw Amsterdam), Korea (Dolbegae), Poland (PWN)

Alexander Kluge

The Air Raid on Halberstadt on 8 April 1945

Alexander Kluge’s account The Air Raid on Halberstadt on 8 April 1945 first appeared in 1977. Exactly twenty years later, it became one of the most important points of reference in that discussion which freed the air war on German cities and the civilian population from being anathema. Such a literary depiction of the air raids and their effects were not entirely without precedent, but Kluge was the first to give a cool, analytical presentation of the work of destruction and from the bowels of the inferno probe that remainder of autonomy and rationality which allowed the connections of the catastrophe as well as potential ways out to appear.

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English world rights (Seagull), Spanish world rights (Machado), France (Diaphanes), Poland  (Ossolineum)

Andrea Köhler

Passing Time

Graced with lyricism, Passing Time is a thoughtful and wide-ranging meditation on the ways in which human beings are compelled - and choose - to mark time, from earliest childhood to the final moments of life. This is an unsparing, yet often poetic, essay on the ordeals and pleasures inherent in the universal experience of waiting. Reprinted by kind permission of Upper West Side Philosophers

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English world rights (Upper West Side Philosophers), Spanish world rights (Libros del Asteroide), Italy (Add Editore), Catalan (Angle)

Katja Kullmann

Raging Ruins

In fall 2011, Katja Kullmann visited Detroit and talked to a variety of its inhabitants: homeless people, city planners, academics, young creative artists and students, single mothers, musicians such as Mike Banks or voluntary service and welfare workers.

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English edition forthcoming

Niklas Luhmann

Love

Niklas Luhmann sees the communicative basis of what we refer to as love in the acknowledgement of foreign experience through one's own action. His classic »Love as Passion« published in 1982 focused predominantly on the history of ideas on the subject.

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English world rights (Polity), Spanish rights Latin America (Prometeo), Chinese complex rights (Wu-Nan Books), France (Diaphanes), Italy (Einaudi), Korea (Theorie Publishing), Serbia (Karpos), Turkey (Edebi)