Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

After 1945 - Latency as Origin of the Present

(German title: Nach 1945)
ca. 355 pages
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
Foto: Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht was born in 1948. He has taught at Stanford University since 1989, where he is the Albert Guérard Professor in Literature. In addition to numerous visiting professorships, he has received eight honorary doctorates.

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English world rights (Stanford UP), Spanish world rights (Universidad Iberoamericana), Russia (NLO), Brazilian Portuguese rights (UNESP), Poland (Krytyka Polityczna)


How we have become what we are - A journey through time that sheds light on our present day

The atomic bomb and the Cold War, but also the German currency reform and that country‘s first soccer Wold Championship (called the »Miracle of Bern«); these are the hallmarks of an era in which the past seemed unspeakable and the future threatening. In his latest book, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht describes how the feeling of living in a time with no way in or out, with swaying directions, and little protection, was central to the post-war experience. He calls this feeling latency.

In this panorama of the post-war period we encounter not only Beckett, Sartre, Heidegger, Camus, and many others still talking to present-day culture, but also a child born 1948 in a German city laid waste. Gumbrecht offers a form of writing that places his personal memory in dialogue with world history. He discovers why that era has haunted our lives until today. After 1945 is a genealogy of the present that explains, with a sharp historical focus, how we have become what we are.

Other publications

Unsere breite Gegenwart/Our Broad Present (2010)

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English world rights (Columbia UP), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Unesp), Italy (Bompiani)

Lob des Sports/In Praise of Athletic Beauty (2005)

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English world rights (Harvard UP), Spanish world rights (Katz), Chinese simplex rights (Horizon), Russia (New Literary Observer - published, rights reverted), Brazilian Portuguese Rights (Companhia das Letras - published, rights reverted), Italy (Sossella), Netherlands (Arbeiderspers), Korea (Dolbegae), Ukraine (Dukh i Litera)