Drilling through Hard Boards


Seagull Books, kolkata, 2019

Language: English

349 pages

5" x 8"

Price INR 799.00
Book Club Price INR 640.00
INR 799.00
In stock

Max Weber famously described politics as ‘a strong, slow drilling through hard boards with both passion and judgement.’ Taking this as his inspiration, Alexander Kluge brings readers yet another literary masterpiece—a kaleidoscopic meditation on the tools available to those who struggle for power. The drill certainly embodies intelligent tenacity as a precondition for political change. But what is a hammer in the business of politics, Kluge wonders, and what is a subtle touch? Eventually, we learn that all questions of politics lead to a single one: What is political in the first place?

Kluge masterfully unspools more than 100 vignettes, through which it becomes clear that the political is more often than not personal. Politics are everywhere in our everyday lives, so along with the stories of major political figures, we also find here the small, mostly unknown ones: Elfriede Eilers alongside Pericles, Chilean miners next to Napoleon, a three-month-old baby beside Alexander the Great.

Alexander Kluge

Alexander Kluge (b. 1932) is one of the major German fiction writers of the late twentieth century and an important social critic. As a filmmaker, he is credited with the launch of the New German Cinema movement. His awards include the Italian Literature Prize Isola d’Elba (1967), and almost every major German-language literary prize, including the Heinrich von Kleist Prize (1985), the Heinrich Böll Prize (1993) and the Schiller Memorial Prize (2001). He has also received the Georg Büchner Prize (2003), Germany’s highest literary award.