Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Hans Magnus Enzensberger (1929-2022) was a leading contemporary German intellectual who made his mark throughout Europe and well beyond. Enzensberger was an acclaimed poet, novelist and essayist, as well as a theorist, dramatist, and media artist. And as an essayist writing for Germany’s leading magazines and newspapers, Enzensberger was an incisive critical voice in moments of political and cultural crisis for many years. Presented here are the 21 television interviews that Kluge held with Enzensberger beginning the early 1990s.

On November 11, 2019 Hans Magnus Enzensberger turned 90 years old. With that, he enters the fourth stage of life: “ancient age” (to use Carl Schmitt’s term). He was fifteen in 1945, twenty-nine in 1968. It was the Parisians who invented the public intellectual, a figure seldom encountered in decentralized Germany. Heinrich Böll’s home was searched in 1972 in the wake of the Red Army Faction investigation. It’s difficult to imagine a German politician taking the stand of a de Gaulle, who supposedly said, in response to calls for Sartre’s detention: “One does not arrest Voltaire.” Under such circumstances, the radical and poetical lightness that Enzensberger has steadfastly maintained throughout his life is particularly astounding. Diderot, who was always a touchstone, may have assisted him in this regard. And, incidentally, his oeuvre is far more extensive (and tends more toward the comic) than what has appeared under the name “Hans M. Enzensberger.” Whether Andreas Thalmayr, Linda Quilt, Elisabeth Ambras, Giorgio Pellizzi, Benedikt Pfaff, Trevisa Buddensiek, or Serenus M. Brezengang are all pseudonyms he has employed for his writing remains somewhat uncertain.

— R.S. (transl. K.W.)

Liberate the News from Human Indifference

Erlöst die Nachrichten von der menschlichen Gleichgültigkeit
23 Jan 2011

Regardless of the Consequences

Ohne Rücksicht auf Verluste
27 Sep 2009

Year 1929

Das Jahr 1929
6 Jul 2008

History’s Forgotten Ones

Verschollene der Geschichte
10 Sep 2006

Alexander von Humboldt's Cosmos

Alexander von Humboldts Kosmos
26 Sep 2004

Alexander von Humboldt in Russia

Alexander von Humboldt in Russland
19 Sep 2004

Montaigne’s Essays

Montaignes Essais
8 Aug 2004

The World of Encyclopedia: Dr. Manfred Osten

Die Welt der Enzyklopädie: Dr. Manfred Osten
26 Apr 2004

Europe’s Perspective on the Orient

Europa blickt aufs Morgenland
7 Mar 2004

The Sinking of the Titanic: A Poem

Der Untergang der Titanic: Ein Jahrhundertepos
29 Jan 2004

The Order of Things: How Poetic is Science?

Die Ordnung der Dinge: Wie poetisch ist die Wissenschaft?
6 Jul 2003

Everything has its Price

Alles hat seinen Preis
27 Apr 2003

Harbingers of Plundering

Boten der Plünderung
3 Dec 2001

Being German is not a profession

Deutsch sein ist kein Beruf
17 Jul 2000

I Am the Saboteur of My Depression

Ich bin der Saboteur meiner Depression
6 Feb 2000

Ballads from the History of Progress

Balladen aus der Geschichte des Fortschritts
12 Dec 1999

Stop, Traveler, and Read

Bleib steh’n, Wanderer, und lies
21 Oct 1996

Desert Queen

Desert Queen
15 Apr 1996

Hot Topic

Das aktuelle Stichwort
25 Mar 1991

Moscow – Petushki

Die Reise von Moskau nach Petuschki
21 Jan 1991

Those Were Unsettling Times

Es waren ungemütliche Zeiten

Brussels, the Gentle Monster

Sanftes Monster Brüssel