Helmut Lethen: Suche nach dem Handorakel"
Book Launch in German language on 27 November 2013, 6 p.m.
Lichtenberg-Kolleg/Historic Observatory, red hall
In his biographic essay „Suche nach dem Handorakel“ (“In search of the palm oracle”), Helmut Lethen follows up the texts that were crucial for his academic career and draws a picture of the students’ movement of 1968. “Handorakel” was the name of 300 rules of global wisdom, which the Spanish Jesuit Balthasar Gracián compiled in 1647. Lethen’s first own „Handorakel“ was Walter Benjamin’s “Kunstwerk im Zeitalter der technischen Reproduzierbarkeit”, his last Lionel Trilling‘s „Das Ende der Aufrichtigkeit“. In addition to that, he elaborates on the crossroads of his individual political biography and their relationship to politics. He also reports on the world of political groups, such as the communist groups and Marxist-Leninist parties, and gives insights in his time at the desks of the journals Alternative and Berliner Hefte.
Helmut Lethen, born in 1939, is director of the Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften (IFK) in Vienna. He published among others Unheimliche Nachbarschaften: Essays zum Kälte-Kult und der Schlaflosigkeit der philosophischen Anthropologie im 20. Jahrhundert (2009); Der Sound der Väter. Gottfried Benn und seine Zeit (2006); Verhaltenslehren der Kälte. Lebensversuche zwischen den Kriegen (1994).
The book launch and reading is a collaborative event of the Lichtenberg-Kolleg and the publishing house Wallstein Verlag
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