Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Hans Magnus Enzensberger (b. 1929) is a leading contemporary German intellectual who has made his mark throughout Europe and well beyond. Enzensberger is 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 has been an incisive critical voice in moments of political and cultural crisis for many years. Presented here are the 21 television interviews that Kluge has held with Enzensberger since the early 1990s.

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

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.)

Title (English)(desc) Title (German) Date
Those Were Unsettling Times Es waren ungemütliche Zeiten
Alexander von Humboldt in Russia Alexander von Humboldt in Russland 19 Sep 2004
Alexander von Humboldt's Cosmos Alexander von Humboldts Kosmos 26 Sep 2004
Ballads from the History of Progress Balladen aus der Geschichte des Fortschritts 12 Dec 1999
Being German is not a profession Deutsch sein ist kein Beruf 17 Jul 2000
Brussels, the Gentle Monster Sanftes Monster Brüssel
Desert Queen Desert Queen 15 Apr 1996
Europe’s Perspective on the Orient Europa blickt aufs Morgenland 7 Mar 2004
Everything has its Price Alles hat seinen Preis 27 Apr 2003
Harbingers of Plundering Boten der Plünderung 3 Dec 2001
History’s Forgotten Ones Verschollene der Geschichte 10 Sep 2006
Hot Topic Das aktuelle Stichwort 25 Mar 1991
I Am the Saboteur of My Depression Ich bin der Saboteur meiner Depression 6 Feb 2000
Liberate the News from Human Indifference Erlöst die Nachrichten von der menschlichen Gleichgültigkeit 23 Jan 2011
Montaigne’s Essays Montaignes Essais 8 Aug 2004
Moscow – Petushki Die Reise von Moskau nach Petuschki 21 Jan 1991
Regardless of the Consequences Ohne Rücksicht auf Verluste 27 Sep 2009
Stop, Traveler, and Read Bleib steh’n, Wanderer, und lies 21 Oct 1996
The Order of Things: How Poetic is Science? Die Ordnung der Dinge: Wie poetisch ist die Wissenschaft? 6 Jul 2003
The Sinking of the Titanic: A Poem Der Untergang der Titanic: Ein Jahrhundertepos 29 Jan 2004
The World of Encyclopedia: Dr. Manfred Osten Die Welt der Enzyklopädie: Dr. Manfred Osten 26 Apr 2004
Year 1929 Das Jahr 1929 6 Jul 2008