Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

Our Broad Present

(German title: Unsere breite Gegenwart)
ca. 143 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 (Columbia UP), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Unesp), Italy (Bompiani)


Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht’s new book, Our Broad Present, outlines a present of simultaneities, a present that is trapped between a threatening future that can no longer be planned, and a past that overwhelms us.

Gumbrecht’s precise diagnosis of time is the result of constant reflection and curious observation. In his analysis, he changes back and forth between deliberations on language philosophy and everyday observations. His meditations on Disneyland, a small town in Louisiana or the centre of Vienna at the time of the World Cup are apt sketches of the hic et nunc, but at the same time, they always serve as elaborations of a general description of the chronotopes in which we live: they are reports about ourselves and our broad present.


»Gumbrecht’s latest book is […] indispensable as an analysis of the present« Tages-Anzeiger

»In his newly published book, the professor from Stanford transforms everyday observations – whether at a sporting event, a trip to Disneyland, or a visit to the library – into occasions for contemporary analysis. And in doing so, he revels in an illuminating, envelope-pushing rhetoric that gives his criticism linguistic clarity. « Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Other publications

Nach 1945/After 1945 (2012)

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

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)