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Wilhelm Schmid

On the Power of Touch

We see, we hear, we smell, we taste. But what about the sense of touch? Yes, touch can be quite nice. It offers stimulation, encouragement, reassurance, connection with others. It strengthens the physical and social immune system. But the great longing for being touched that many people feel is thwarted by an equally great shyness, by reservations of various kinds. The Me too-debate has created awareness for the occurrences of touch that is undesired and violent, but it would be a great pity to become suspicious of every kind of touch as a response to that. Many of us only know touch from a touchscreen anyway. Wilhelm Schmid makes suggestions as to how a new sensuality can be discovered with analogous touch beyond digital devices. And he demonstrates that the phenomenon of touch far exceeds the physical plane.

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Hg.: Barbara Schwepcke, Bill Swainson

A New Divan

A New Divan is a Gingko project that will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Goethe’s West-Eastern Divan (1819). This ambitious anthology brings together new poems by twenty-four leading poets – 12 from the ›East‹ and 12 from the ›West‹ – in a truly international poetic dialogue inspired by the culture of the Other. The poets come from across the East (from Morocco to Turkey, Syria to Afghanistan) and from across the West (from Germany to Mexico, Estonia to Brazil).

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Clemens J. Setz

The Comfort of Round Things

An Alsatian soldier in the First World War discovers the constellation of the Great Young Kid in the night sky, but it is so awful that he can’t tell anyone about it. A young man, who has fallen in love with the blind Anja, discovers that her apartment is covered with insults from floor to ceiling. Marcel, sixteen years old, leaves his mobile number behind in the toilet-stall of a sex shop along with the name Suzy.

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France (Actes Sud), Denmark (Vandkunsten), Greece (Gutenberg)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Griot)

Philipp Staab

Digital Capitalism

Where conglomerates, energy companies and banks dominated the rankings of the highest-valued businesses only 20 years ago they have long since been superseded by internet giants like Google, Apple, Amazon and Tencent. Digital technologies are ubiquitous: We carry around supercomputers in our pockets, washing machines can connect to the internet. But is that all the innovation digital capitalism has to offer?

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Adalbert Stifter

Rock Crystal

Sanna and Konrad, the children of a cobbler, set out on the morning of December 24th to bring Christmas presents to their grandparents in the neighbouring mountain village. The grandmother urges them to leave early enough to reach their home before nightfall. But a heavy snowfall sets in and Sanna and Konrad get lost in the high mountain ranges. An extensive search begins … For the first time, Adalbert Stifter’s story Rock Crystal has been illustrated by Gerda Raidt for the Insel-Bücherei.

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Text by Adalbert Stifter in the public domain, illustration rights available

Carlo Strenger

Those Damned Liberal Elites

In the debate on the rise of nationalistic and anti-liberal parties, an ancient ghost has reappeared – the ghost of liberal cosmopolitans: well-educated, internationally connected scientists, journalists or politicians who assure each other of their moral superiority. The rift between cosmopolitans and patriotic communitarians is considered one of the central conflicts of our time.

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Tuvia Tenenbom

Alone Among Brits

For months, people in Germany and the rest of Europe have been wondering: What do the British want? Do they even know what they want? And why is Brexit pursued with such frenzied dedication by its proponents and fought against with such vehemence by its opponents? There are no fast answers to all these questions and a remote diagnosis won’t help. If you want to know what this historical turning point means for the British people – and for us – you need to go into the field and talk to them – or follow Tuvia Tenenbom on his journey across the four nations that make up the United Kingdom where he takes a humorous yet painful look at the British society of our time.

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Philipp Ther

The Other End of History

In 1989, the West appeared to be the lone victor of history. Today, the triumphalism of that time sounds more than stale. What went wrong?

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Stefan Ulrich, Franziska Ulrich

Munich

What could a perfect day in Munich look like? You have breakfast on one of the most atmospheric squares of the city, the Gärtnerplatz, with cappuccino and croissants fresh from the oven. Afterwards you take a stroll through the Kunstareal, which is definitely going to inspire you, no matter whether you prefer the Old Masters, the young and restless, dinosaur skeletons or contemporary architecture.

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Deniz Utlu

Towards Morning

When Kara flies from Berlin to Frankfurt, the plane gets caught up in a heavy thunderstorm. In face of the looming crash, he suddenly sees Ramón sitting a few rows in front of him. Ramón, who was never invited but still came, who stayed on the couch in Kara’s and Kara’s best friend Vince’s kitchen until he disappeared from one day to the next.

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Kia Vahland

Leonardo da Vinci and the Women

Leonardo da Vinci is considered modern for examining nature and being the inventor of a number of visionary technical instruments. But that’s not all. The artist also revolutionised European thought as a friend to women too: centuries before women’s emancipation movements, in his paintings he developed the image of the modern woman. Indeed, Leonardo outright invented the image of autonomous woman who thought for herself, the self-assured and simultaneously vulnerably beautiful woman who looked men straight in the eye from the canvas and seemed to reciprocate their love. Neither Leonardo’s worldview nor his artistic and scientific output can be understood without recognizing his sympathy for the other sex in general and his female models in particular. Thus, the central thesis of this new biography is that the particular allure of Leonardo’s oeuvre up to today is due to his open-minded portrayal of the woman.

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English world rights (Black Dog & Leventhal/Hachette Books), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Editora Novo Seculo), Portuguese rights (Temas e Debates), Turkey (Marti), Greece (Nissos)

Michael Wildt

The Volk’s Ambivalence

Whoever speaks of the »Volk« cannot fail to mention the void at its heart. There is always a struggle to define who belongs and who is to be kept out. Not only do language and history determine who is included and who is excluded but ancestry and ethnic attributes as well. In National Socialism the Volk assumed its anti-Semitic and racist form, with violence and self-empowerment becoming central elements. The concept of the Volksgemeinschaft is thus a key term for a political theory and social history of National Socialism, whose components Michael Wildt gathers in this book.

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Josef Winkler

The City Chronicler of Kolkata

»On New Market two white roosters with sickle-shaped tails and red, jagged, translucent, upright combs that keep flapping to one side like rubber with every movement are standing in a basket. All around the shining light bulbs are coated in silver foil, so that the light falls focused on the piles of papayas, mangos and the fruits of the pineapples from Kerala.« This is one of the chapter headings – and right then and there we’re amidst the plethora of observations and shortest stories that Josef Winkler has noted down.

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Ursula Wolf

Action, Happiness, Morality

Is morality necessary in order to achieve happiness? From the perspective of the individual, who finds itself confronted with ethical challenges, this question demands a broadening of moral theory towards a theory of the ethical life. This, on the other hand, requires an explanation of the structure of human action and life, as philosopher Ursula Wolf, one of the most prominent voices of the present debate on ethics, shows. In this collection of essays written over the course of three decades, Wolf tries to resume and continue the ancient striving for such a comprehensive ethics based on various problems such as akrasia and the relationship between virtue and happiness.

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Roman Yos

The Young Habermas

Roman Yos' analysis of the origins of one of the most influential works of recent philosophy is an original examination of how early in his career Jürgen Habermas was already gradually at work transposing his distinct philosophical-political thought into a viable system. This can be understood as a process of learning, the development of which saw contrary intellectual influences come together that called for complex mediation. Yos reconstructs the exciting emergence of Habermas’ thought from the interrelationship of his early writings, while at the same time providing insight into their temporal and historical background.

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Guido Zurstiege

Tactics of Disconnecting

In a time where everybody is constantly posting and on stand-by, the ability to disconnect is one of the most important conditions of the individual’s self-assertion and self-determination. Universally increasing communication and connectivity creates an equally heightened need for communicative withdrawal and renunciation. Whether it’s for reasons like the irritation caused by the decay of political discourse or as a reaction to the coercion to constantly expose oneself, the fear of permanent surveillance or as an attempt to win back control over one’s own media user behaviour: Nowadays, everyone needs tactics to disconnect to face the challenges of the digital age successfully.

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