Alexander Kluge

The Drilling of Hard Boards - 133 political stories

(German title: Das Bohren harter Bretter)
ca. 336 pages
Alexander Kluge
Foto: Alexander Kluge
© Markus Kirchgessner

Alexander Kluge, born 1932, is an author as well as the director to date of numerous films and countless TV broadcasts.

In 2003 he was awarded the Georg Büchner Prize.

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


Politics, says Kluge, is an exceptional aggregate state of everyday feelings. It’s everywhere. It sets private and public biographies in motion.

It was Max Weber who said the famous sentence that politics is »the vigorous, slow drilling of hard boards with both passion and a sense of proportion«. From this point of departure, Kluge’s 133 stories examine the tools available to politically active people in the difficult struggle for power. As an image of the intelligent tenacity required for political change, Max Weber’s drill is certainly apt. But what is a hammer in politics? What could a »precision grip« be? In the end, all questions boil down to one: What does »political« mean in the first place?

Excerpt from the contents:
»The destructive character is young and cheerful« – »Collateral damage of charisma« – »The political neck bite« – »The most senior accountant in the People’s Republic of China« – »The wisdom of crowds in Duisburg« – »Are wolves benevolent?«


»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)

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), Poland  (Ossolineum)

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)