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Alexander Kluge

Russia-Container

With numerous colourful images and bi-medial application
(German title: Russland-Kontainer)
ca. 450 pages
Clothbound
2020
Alexander Kluge
Foto: Alexander Kluge
© Markus Kirchgessner

Alexander Kluge, born in 1932, is an author as well as the director to date of numerous films and countless TV broadcasts, but: »My books are my most important work.« He has received numerous awards for his oeuvre, including the Georg Büchner Prize and the Theodor W. Adorno Prize, the Heinrich Heine Prize of the City of Düsseldorf, and the 2019 Klopstock Prize of the City of Halberstadt.

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Russia (Garage)

»All of Russia’s souls point their roots skywards.«

About

Not just in light of a currently contested pipeline but also after centuries of both exchange and rejection, Russia and Germany were and are as far away from each other as they are connected. The political present seems critical, the signs point towards conflict and polarity.

In this situation Alexander Kluge turns Russia into the exclusive topic of a comprehensive new volume. In a decidedly poetic manner, not with an imperious desire for synthesis, he approaches the immense terrain of the earth’s largest country and the majority of its souls. He is concerned with the »unenslaved« matter that leaves the reader and the materials »the freedom to breathe«. This freedom is realised in poly-perspective depiction: from the historically informed perspective of German patriots of the Wars of Liberation as well as from the narrative point of view of Franz Kafka and Heiner Müller, from messianic yearning and utopian expectation in the 20th century, from looking back on full-blown or nearmiss catastrophes in the age of atomic potential, but also – and possibly most of all – from the decidedly female empathy of Svetlana Alexievich and his sister Alexandra’s love for Russia: »I’m writing this book on their behalf.«

Praise

»Hardly anyone has such virtuosic mastery of this delicate art of thought as Alexander Kluge.« Paul Jandl, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

»Alexander Kluge’s book about Russia is associative, surprising, smart – a reading pleasure that lasts for 400 pages.« Irmtraud Gutschke, der Freitag

»Alexander Kluge’s books are mountains oft exts. They become condensed into a continent of knowledge.« Christine Hamel, WDR

»Poetic cargo from a country whose vastness and diversity alone activate the imagination. Alexander Kluge’s art of omission on the other hand, his elliptic way of thinking that consistently frogoes connections and leaves a lot of space to the reader’s imagination, is a congenial method of approaching Russia.« Niels Beintker, Bayern 2

»Those interested in such great and small questions, that not only pertain to our fragmented present but also to our sense of what is possible, […] will always make a find in Alexander Kluge’s works.« Uwe Schütte, Wiener Zeitung

»Regarding his wide-ranging use of visual, textual and even acoustic media, Kluge is almost unique among German intellectuals.« Frank Olbert, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

»Kluge has invented his very own literary form and has given them a classic shape: the historico-philosophical episode. […] His texts are food for thought and ask for intellectual independence.« Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Unterricht und Kultus

»An unmediated experience – […] guaranteed by this wonderful and enlightening journey across the vastness of Russia in Alexander Kluge’s Russia-Container.« Ö1

Other publications

Weltverändernder Zorn/World-changing Rage (2017)

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English world rights (Seagull)

30. April 1945/30 April 1945 (2014)

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English world rights (Seagull), France (P.O.L.), Poland (W.A.B.)

Nachricht von ruhigen Momenten/Message from Quiet Moments (2013)

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English world rights (Seagull), Chinese simplex rights (Beijing Imaginist Time Culture)

Das Bohren harter Bretter/The Drilling of Hard Boards (2011)

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English world rights (Seagull), Arabic world rights (Sefsafa)

Dezember/December (2010)

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English world rights (Seagull), Chinese simplex rights (Beijing Imaginist Time Culture), France (Diaphanes), Turkey (Everest)

Der Luftangriff auf Halberstadt am 8. April 1945/The Air Raid on Halberstadt on 8 April 1945 (2008)

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English world rights (Seagull), Spanish world rights (Machado), France (Diaphanes), Italy (Meltemi), Korea (Moonji), Poland  (Ossolineum), Israel (Pitom)

Geschichten vom Kino/Stories of the Cinema (2007)

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Spanish rights Latin America (Caja negra), France (Diaphanes), Italy (L'orma editore), Turkey (Lemis)

Die Lücke, die der Teufel läßt/The Gap Left by the Devil (2003)

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English world rights (New Directions), Spanish world rights (Anagrama), France (P.O.L.), Israel (Pitom)

Chronik der Gefühle/Chronicle of Feelings (2000)

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English world rights (New Directions), Russia (NLO), France (P.O.L.), Sweden (Brutus Östling)