Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster: Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration

Neuerscheinung: Tyrants Writing Poetry. Herausgegeben von Konstantin Kaminskij und Albrecht Koschorke

7. Dezember 2017


Budapest: CEU Press 2017

As conventional understanding would have it, the sometimes brutal business of governing can only be carried out at the price of distance from art, while poetic beauty best flourishes at a distance from actions executed at the pole of power. Dramatically contradicting this idea is the fact that violent rulers are often the greatest friends of art, and indeed draw attention to themselves as artists.
Why do tyrants of all people often have a particularly poetic vein? Where do terror and fiction meet? The cultural history of totalitarian regimes is unwrapped in ten case studies, in a comparative perspective. The book focuses on the phenomenon that many of the great despots in history were themselves writers. By studying the artistic ambitions of Nero, Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Saparmurat Nyyazow and Radovan Karadzic, the studies explore the complicated relationship between poetry and political violence, and open our eyes for the aesthetic dimensions of total power.
The essays make an important contribution to a number of fields: the study of totalitarian regimes, cultural studies, biographies of 20th century leaders. They underscore the frequent correlation between tyrannical governance and an excessive passion for language, and prove that the merging of artistic and political charisma tends to justify the claim to absolute power. (Verlag)

Das deutsche Original erschien unter dem Titel „Despoten dichten“ 2011 bei Konstanz University Press.

2014 folgte eine russische Übersetzung (Diktatory pišut) bei Kul'turnaja Revoljucija, Moskau.

Der Slawist Dr. Konstantin Kaminskij ist wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter an der Humboldt-Universität Berlin. Bis November 2017 war er wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter an der Universität Konstanz.

Prof. Dr. Albrecht Koschorke lehrt  Deutsche Literatur und Allgemeine Literaturwissenschaft an der Universität Konstanz. Er ist Vorstandsmitglied des Exzellenzclusters „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“.

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