On the Fortunes & Misfortunes of Art in Post-War Germany


By Hans-Jurgen Syberberg, Published in 1990



Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, an unconventional book appeared in Germany which ignited a firestorm of cultural debate. Decried by many as the work of a dangerous mind, it was defended by the more discerning as an intrepid appraisal of the illness of our times. But despite all its defenders, both the book and its creator were cast into the shadows of unofficial censorship.

Here for the first time is the full English translation of this controversial and eminently important work of cultural criticism by groundbreaking film director Hans-Jürgen Syberberg. Syberberg, whose films include the radically innovative Requiem for a Virgin King and the monumental Hitler: A Film from Germany, turns his uncompromising creative vision to the poverty and paralysis besetting contemporary European culture.

Broad in its knowledge, deep in its passion, relentlessly keen in its insight, Syberberg’s On the Fortunes and Misfortunes of Art in Post-War Germany is one of the most profound meditations on the culture, society and politics of modern Germany and the West.

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