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Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Uwe Johnson

»for means of brutal communication« - The Correspondence

Edited by Henning Marmulla and Claus Kröger. With illustrations
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

Uwe Johnson
Foto: Uwe Johnson
© Michael Bengel

Uwe Johnson was born in Kammin (today: Kamien Pomorski), Poland, in 1934 and died in Sheerness-on-Sea on February 22nd or 23rd 1984. His estate is kept at the Uwe Johnson-archive at the University of Rostock.

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About

In 1959, just after Uwe Johnson’s relocation to West berlin and the publication of his debut novel Speculations About Jakob, the correspondence and friendship between Johnson and Hans Magnus Enzensberger commences. Over the course of eight years they communicate about the situation of literature and politics and discuss the scopes of political activism. At the same time, however, the 161 documents stand testament to an exchange about the possibilities and limits of friendship.

As early as October 1966, Uwe Johnson demands that they no longer »construct« their correspondence »towards future edition and provision for old age but for means of brutal communication.« The seemingly ordinary serves as a basis for fundamental observations and ultimately leads to a rift: The fact that Johnson offers his apartments in Berlin to Enzensberger’s first wife Dagrun and his brother Ulrich leads to aporias of trust, surety and responsibility. One year later even this arrangement is stretched to its limits – but leaves behind a correspondence in which neither party fails to deliver: leasr of all the hightly trenchant dialogue between two profoundly different characters. And their edition is now available.

Other publications

Fallobst/Windfalls (2019)

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Überlebenskünstler/Survival Artists (2018)

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

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Tumult/Tumult (2014)

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Verschwunden!/Gone! (2014)

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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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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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Meine Lieblings-Flops, gefolgt von einem Ideen-Magazin/My Favourite Flops, followed by a wealth of ideas (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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Dialoge zwischen Unsterblichen, Lebendigen und Toten/Dialogues between the Immortals, the Living and the Dead (2004)

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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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Leichter als Luft/Lighter than Air (1999)

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Zickzack/Zigzag (1999)

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Kiosk/Kiosk (1995)

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Aussichten auf den Bürgerkrieg/Civil Wars (1993)

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Mutmassungen über Jakob/Speculations About Jakob (1992)

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Ach Europa!/Europe, Europe (1988)

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Jahrestage 1–4/Anniversaries (1983)

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Politische Brosamen/Political Crumbs (1982)

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Der Untergang der Titanic/The Sinking of the Titanic (1979)

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Mausoleum/Mausoleum (1978)

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Der kurze Sommer der Anarchie/The Short Summer of Anarchy (1972)

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Einzelheiten I/Particulars (1964)

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Politik und Verbrechen/Politics and Crime (1964)

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