Anselm Kiefer in Conversation with Klaus Dermutz Seagull Books, December 2018
"I think in pictures. Poems help me with this. They are like buoys in the sea. I swim to them, from one to the other. In between, without them, I am lost. They are the handholds where something masses together in the infinite expanse."--Anselm Kiefer
The only visual artist to have won the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, Anselm Kiefer is a profoundly literary painter. In the ten conversations with the writer and theologian Klaus Dermutz collected here, Kiefer returns to the essential elements of his art, his aesthetics, and his creative processes.
Kiefer describes how the central materials of his art--lead, sand, water, fire, ashes, plants, clothing, oil paint, watercolor, and ink--influence the act of creation. No less decisive are his intellectual and artistic touchstones: the sixteenth-century Jewish mystic Isaac Luria, the German Romantic poet Novalis, Ingeborg Bachmann, Paul Celan, Martin Heidegger, Marcel Proust, Adalbert Stifter, the operas of Richard Wagner, the Catholic liturgy, and the innovative theater director and artist Tadeusz Kantor. Kiefer and Dermutz discuss all of these influential thinkers, as well as Kiefer's own status as a controversial figure. His relentless examination of German history, the themes of guilt, suffering, communal memory, and the seductions of destruction have earned him equal amounts of criticism and praise. The conversations in this book offer a rare insight into the mind of a gifted creator, appealing to artists, critics, art historians, cultural journalists, and anyone interested in the visual arts and the literature and history of the twentieth century.
One Another dazzles as Monique Schwitter deftly weaves an intricate, moving, and wonderfully eccentric portrayal of love and art―erotic, chaotic, comedic, tragic, and glorious.
When a writer googles the name of her first love and discovers he committed suicide years ago, she is deeply shaken. Memories of Petrus begin to flood into her mind, followed by the memories of other loves, one after another. What exactly is love? How does it come and go? She begins to search her personal history for answers. Twelve men. Twelve chapters in a novel. Melancholy Petrus, handsome actor Jakob, Simon with his pet rat, gay Nathanael, a student, her brother. Her husband’s story is supposed to be the last. But as story after story unfolds, the past and present entangle until her orderly search is interrupted by present-day complications of love and by a startling event overlooked at home that begins to seize the plotline of both her art and life.
Texts by Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Johann Peter Hebel, Michel de Montaigne, and Paul Valéry. New York Review Books, March 2019
A new translation of philosopher Walter Benjamin’s work as it pertains to his famous essay, ‘The Storyteller,’ this collection includes short stories, book reviews, parables, and a selection of writings by other authors who had an influence on Benjamin’s work.
Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Storyteller’ is among the greatest and most widely-read essays of this ever-suggestive but also enigmatic master thinker. Published in 1936 in a obscure Swiss review, "The Storyteller" was the product of at least a decade's ongoing reflection and composition. What might be called the story of "The Storyteller" starts in 1926, when Benjamin wrote an essay about one of his favorite writers, the German romantic Johann Peter Hebel, and then continues in a beautiful series of short essays, book reviews (of Arnold Bennett's novel "The Old Wives' Tale", among others), short stories, parables ("The Handkerchief", written in Ibiza in 1932-33), and even radio shows for children ("The Earthquake in Lisbon"). In this new collection all these writings are brought together in one place, giving us a new appreciation of how Benjamin's thinking changed and ripened over time. Benjamin's superb and wonderfully readable writings are further accompanied by some key readings of his own--texts by his contemporaries Ernst Bloch, Georg Lukacs, and Jean Paulhan; by Paul Valery; and by Herodotus and Montaigne--and finally, to bring things round, there are two short stories by "the incomparable Hebel" with whom Benjamin's intellectual adventure began. Tess Lewis's magnificent new translation of Benjamin's writings further refresh our understanding of the work, while editor Samuel Titan's introduction fills in the biographical and intellectual context in which Benjamin's "Storyteller" came to life.