Alexander Kluge

Stories of the Cinema

With Illustrations
(German title: Geschichten vom Kino)
ca. 351 pages
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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For about 120 years, film projectors have been noisily and incessantly rattling away.
The history of film is young. »It isn't much older than my maternal grandmother« Alexander Kluge

The 120 stories of this volume are literary essays told in Alexander Kluge's customary short and laconic style. At the same time, they also expose director Kluge's deep fondness for filmmaking that developed over the decades of his career, more than a fifth of film history.

The stories span topics from the invention of the camera to the fervor that accompanied the masses into early cinema, as well as the way in which film was both faithful to the tragedies of the twentieth century while remaining simultaneously blind to them. It is about the anti-realism of emotion that film used to establish a »feel-good store«, and the diligent expertise of the audience to judge whether happy and sad endings were dealt to the proper players. It is also the story of filmmaking and filmmakers, of the array and intricacies of the shade of grey in black and white film, and the utopia hidden within the »principle of cinema«, always surviving the onslaught of younger medias attempting to replace it.


»What makes Kluge’s texts such a true source of the elixir of life for our minds and imaginations is not only the wealth of content, but also the experience that however logical the answer, however focused the act, neither seems stringently necessary. There is no other contemporary author whose work is so defined by what the philosophers term 'contingency'.« Frankfurter Rundschau

»Storyteller Kluge provides the raw material of history for the universal movie theater of life.« Süddeutsche Zeitung

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)

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)