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  • Atomzertrümmerung

    Author: Michael Levine

    Atomzertrümmerung: Zu einem Gedicht von Paul Celan, Turia + Kant, forthcoming Spring 2018.

    Benjamin sprach im Passagen-Werk von einer »Methode der Atomzertrümmerung«, die diejenigen »ungeheuren Kräfte der Geschichte« freizulegen vermag, welche im »›Es war einmal‹ der klassischen Historie« neutralisiert werden sollen. Michael G. Levine überträgt diese Methode auf ein Gedicht von Paul Celan, »Die Silbe Schmerz«, und er zeigt, wie die ungeheuren Kräfte der Geschichte sich mit denjenigen der Dichtung kreuzen. Es entsteht daraus eine vielstimmige aber konzentrierte Meditation über das, was an beiden, jenseits von humanistischen Phantasien und ästhetischer Ideologie, als »zeit-los« bezeichnet werden kann. Mit seiner »Versenkung ins Detail« schreibt sich Levine in eine Reihe von Arbeiten ein, in denen Autoren wie Jean Bollack, Werner Hamacher, Martine Broda, Peter Szondi und Jacques Derrida eine Praxis des intensiven, eindringlichen und einschneidenden Lesens der Dichtung Celans ausgebildet haben.

  • Emmy Hennings, Gefängnis, Das graue Haus, Das Haus im Schatten

    Author: Nicola Behrmann

    The first volume of the Annotated Edition of the works and letters of Expressionist and Dadaist writer Emmy Hennings has appeared: Emmy Hennings, Gefängnis, Das graue Haus, Das Haus im Schatten. Co-edited by Professor Nicola Behrmann and Christa Baumberger, the volume combines three Hennings’ novels on the traumatic experience of imprisonment. It rediscovers her as one of the most impressive women writers in the early 20th century German literature (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag 2016).

  • Emmy Hennings Dada (Zurich: Scheidegger & Spiess)

    Author: Nicola Behrmann

    Professor Nicola Behrmann together with Christa Baumberger also published Emmy Hennings Dada (Zurich: Scheidegger & Spiess).

    The book offers a new take on the history of the Dada movement in Zurich and contains many archival documents, photographs, and biographical information. For their editorial work, the authors received the Award "Schätze heben" by the Swiss foundation Migros Kulturprozent.

    Three Rutgers students and Aresty Research Assistants—Camille Lathbury, Kelsey Haddorff, and Fiona Wong—worked closely with Professor Behrmann to complete research in German on the book. Check out a recent radio interview with Professor Behrmann on DeutschlandradioKultur.

  • How We Learn Where We Live: Thomas Bernhard, Architecture and Bildung (Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 2015).

    Examines the relationship between buildings and Bildung in the works of Thomas Bernhard, with chapters on the Austrian architectural neo-avant-garde of the 1960s, the cabinet of art and curiosities in Castle Ambras and the Art History Museum Vienna, as well as the Ludwig-Wittgenstein-House in Vienna.

  • Das unerhörte Wort: Antisemitismus in Literatur und Kultur

    Author: Martha Helfer

    Das unerhörte Wort: Antisemitismus in Literatur und Kultur (Wallstein, 2013) [German translation of The Word Unheard].


  • A Weak Messianic Power

    Author: Michael Levine

    A Weak Messianic Power: Figures of a Time to Come in Benjamin, Derrida and Celan, Fordham University Press, 2013.

    In his famous theses on the philosophy of history, Benjamin writes: “We have been endowed with a weak messianic power to which the past has a claim.” This claim addresses us not just from the past but from what will have belonged to it only as a missed possibility and unrealized potential. For Benajmin, as for Celan and Derrida, what has never been actualized remains with us, not as a lingering echo but as a secretly insistent appeal. Because such appeals do not pass through normal channels of communication, they require a special attunement, perhaps even a mode of unconscious receptivity. Levine examines the ways in which this attunement is cultivated in Benjamin’s philosophical, autobiographical, and photohistorical writings; Celan’s poetry and poetological addresses; and Derrida’s writings on Celan.

  • The Word Unheard: Legacies of Anti-Semitism in German Literature and Culture

    Author: Martha Helfer

    The Word Unheard: Legacies of Anti-Semitism in German Literature and Culture, Northwestern University Press, 2011.


  • Trügerische Vertrautheit: Filme von Michael Haneke Deceptive Familiarity: Films by Michael Haneke (Vienna: Synema Verlag, 2010).

    With an introduction by Nobel Prize Winner Elfriede Jelinek "Bis einem ein Licht aufgeht (Zum Filmemacher Michael Haneke)"/"Until You See the Light (The Director Michael Haneke)." Explores the relationship between Michael Haneke and literary adaptation (Walter Benjamin, Ingeborg Bachmann, Elfriede Jelinek, Joseph Roth), the end of empire, photography of the post-war period, the intimate public sphere, black pedagogy, and post-national constellations.


  • The Literary and Cultural Rhetoric of Victimhood: Western Europe 1970-2005 (New York: Palgrave, 2007).

    Chapters on sacrificial victims (Sigmund Freud, Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer), the politics of influence (René Girard, Peter Sloterdijk), mediated invisibility (Michael Haneke), apocalyptic cosmologies (Christoph Ransmayr, Anselm Kiefer), mourning, feminization, and impoverishment (Friederike Mayröcker), the domain of sexual struggle (Michel Houellebecq), cognitive dissonances (Elfriede Jelinek).

  • The Belated Witness

    Author: Michael Levine

    The Belated Witness: Literature, Testimony, and the Question of Holocaust Survival, Stanford University Press, 2006.

    The Belated Witness stakes out an original place within the field of recent work on the theory and practice of literary writing after the Holocaust. Drawing in productive and unsettling ways from converging work in history, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and literature, the book asks how the events of the Holocaust force us to alter traditional conceptions about human experience, as well as the way we can now talk and write about such experiences. Rather than providing a mere account of an outside or inside reality, literature after the Holocaust sets itself a more radical task: it testifies to unspeakable experiences in a specific mode of address, a call or summons to another in whose sole power resides the possibility of a future response to such testimonies of world-historical trauma.

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