Critical Essays (The German Library, Volume 98) by Hans Magnus Enzensberger

By Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Edited via Reinhold Grimm and Bruce Armstrong

Foreword: John Simon vii
Introduction: Reinhold Grimm xi

Part One : Literature and the Media 1
1. The Industrialization of the brain 3
Translated by way of the author
2. Poetry and Politics 15
Translated via Michael Roloff
3. Commonplaces at the most up-to-date Literature 35
Translated by means of Michael Roloff
4. ingredients of a thought of the Media forty six
Translated via Stuart Hood

Part : Politics and historical past 77
Translated by way of Michael Roloff
1. towards a concept of Treason 79
2. Reflections ahead of a Glass Cage 94
3. Las Casas, or A glance again into the destiny 116
4. Berlin Commonplaces 138

Part 3 : Sociology and Ecology 157
1. travelers of the Revolution 159
Translated via Michael Roloff
2. A Critique of Political Ecology 186
Translated by way of Stuart Hood
3. On the Inevitability of thie center Classes:
A Sociological Caprice 224
Translated by way of Judith Ryan
4. Notes on the tip of the realm 233
Translated via David Fernbach
Notes 243

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Extra resources for Critical Essays (The German Library, Volume 98)

Example text

We have not made it to exonerate from criticism H it­ ler’s and Stalin’s spokesmen. On the contrary, our intention is first and foremost to subject them to a criticism that does not take its task too lightly. We have only to question the motives that prompted Becher, for instance, to write his hymn to Stalin to for­ get all claim to critical acumen. Whether he wrote it out of stupid­ ity or opportunism, voluntarily or under duress, is Completely be­ side the point. The same applies to the sentiments in Becher’s heart: pious conviction or cynical winking, laborious self-deception or augurlike humbug— it is of equally small importance.

One is tempted to leave it at that and save oneself the trouble of seeking a reason for this verdict. Even those who make the effort seldom go far enough. The root of the scandal does not lie where it is usually sought: it lies neither in the person of him who is praised nor him who praises. A phenomenon such as the end of the eulogy of the ruler cannot be explained by analyzing the opinions and motives of the author, which is the method adopted everywhere during recent decades when the relationship of poetry to politics has been discussed.

Retreat from the media will not even save the intellectual’s precious soul from corruption. It might be a better idea to enter the dangerous game, to take and calculate our risks. Instead of innocence, we need determination. We must know very precisely the monster we are dealing with, and we must be contin­ ually on our guard to resist the overt or subtle pressures that are brought to bear on us. The rapid development of the mind industry, its rise to a key position in modern society, has profoundly changed the role of the intellectual.

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