Alexander Kluge

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Born February 14, 1932(1932-02-14)
Halberstadt, Province of Saxony, Germany
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Alexander Kluge (1932) is a German author and film director.

Kluge was born in the town of Halberstadt in the vicinity of Magdeburg in 1932, the son of a doctor. After completing his high school education in Berlin, he studied Law, History and Music at universities in Marburg and Frankfurt am Main and received his doctorate in Law in 1956. During his studies in Frankfurt, Kluge became acquainted with Theodor Adorno at the Institute for Social Research where he performed legal services and began to write stories. It is through his discussions with Adorno in particular that Kluge became interested in film, despite the fact that Adorno was not himself fond of film. As Kluge has recalled in an interview, "[Adorno] sent me to Fritz Lang in order to protect me from something worse, so that I wouldn't get the idea to write any books. If I were turned away, then I would ultimately do something more valuable, which was to continue to be legal counsel to the Institute". In 1958 Adorno introduced Kluge to Fritz Lang, who was filming Der Tiger von Eschnapur and Das indische Grabmal (1958-1959) in Berlin. Legend has it that Kluge found the experience rather tiresome and began to write stories in the studio cafeteria, stories that would eventually become material for his own films. (Source)


(directed films; in German unless noted otherwise)

Feature-length films
  • Abschied von Gestern [Anita G.; Yesterday Girl], 1965-66, 35 mm, b/w, 88 min. (link to a version with IT subs)
  • Die Artisten in der Zirkuskuppel: ratlos [A Doctor from Halberstadt], 1967, 35 mm, b/w and col., 103 min.
  • Der grosse Verhau [The Big Mess], 1969-70, 35 mm, b/w und col., 86 min.
  • Willi Tobler und der Untergang der 6. Flotte [Willi Tobler and the Sinking of the Sixth Fleet], 1971, 35 mm, b/w and col., 96 min.
  • Gelegenheitsarbeit einer Sklavin [Part-Time Work of a Domestic Slave], 1973, 35 mm, b/w, 91 min. [1]
  • In Gefahr und größter Not bringt der Mittelweg den Tod [In Danger and Deep Distress, the Middle Way Spells Certain Death], with Edgar Reitz, 1974, 35 mm, b/w, 90 min. [2]
  • Der starke Ferdinand [Strongman Ferdinand], 1975-76, 35 mm, col., 97 min.
  • Deutschland im Herbst [Germany in Autumn], with Volker Schlöndorff, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Edgar Reitz and others, 1978, 35 mm, col. and b/w, 123 min.
  • Die Patriotin [The Patriot], 1979, 35 mm, col. und b/w, 121 min. (link to a version with RU subs) [3]
  • Der Kandidat [The Candidate], with Volker Schlöndorff, Stefan Aust and Alexander von Eschwege, 1980, 35 mm, col. und b/w, 129 min.
  • Krieg und Frieden [War and Peace], with Stefan Aust, Axel Engstfeld and Volker Schlöndorff, 1982-83, 35 mm, col., 120 min.
  • Die Macht der Gefühle [The Power of Feelings], 1983, 35 mm, b/w and col., 115 min.
  • Der Angriff der Gegenwart auf die übrige Zeit [The Blind Director], 1985, 35 mm, col., 113 min.
  • Vermischte Nachrichten [Odds and Ends], with Beate Mainka-Jellinghaus, 1986, 35 mm, b/w and col., 103 min. (link to a version with EN subs)
  • Nachrichten aus der ideologischen Antike. Marx – Eisenstein – Das Kapital [News from Ideological Antiquity], 2008. DVD booklet, DVD+ 1, DVD+ 2, DVD+ 3, [4]. On Eisenstein’s unrealised project to film Marx's Capital.
  • Früchte des Vertrauens [Fruits of Confidence], 2009. On the financial crisis.
  • Wer sich traut, reißt die Kälte vom Pferd, 2010. On Adorno's plan to make a film about the cold.
  • Mensch 2.0, with Basil Gelpke, 2011.
  • Theorie der Erzählung. Frankfurter Poetikvorlesungen, 2012.
  • Nachrichten vom Großen Krieg (1914-1918), 2014, 94 min.
Short films
Negt & Kluge, Public Sphere and Experience: Toward an Analysis of the Bourgeois and Proletarian Public Sphere, 1972/1993, Log, PDF.
Learning Processes with a Deadly Outcome, 1973/1996, Log, PDF.
Die Patriotin, 1979, PDF.
Der Angriff der Gegenwart auf die übrige Zeit, 1985, PDF.
October 46: Alexander Kluge, 1988, Log.
New German Critique 49: Alexander Kluge, 1990, Log, PDF.
Raw Materials for the Imagination, 2012, Log, PDF.


(in German unless noted otherwise)


  • Die Universitäts-Selbstverwaltung. Ihre Geschichte und gegenwärtige Rechtsform, Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1958. Dissertation.
  • Lebensläufe, Stuttgart: Goverts, 1962; new ed., exp., Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1986. Fiction. Incl. "Anita G.".
    • Attendance List for a Funeral: Stories, trans. Leila Vennewitz, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966, 203 pp; rev. ed. as Case Histories: Stories, New York: Holmes & Meier, 1988, xix+203 pp. (English)
    • Biografie, trans. Enrico Filippini, Milan: A. Mondadori, 1966, 312 pp. (Italian)
    • Życiorysy, trans. Joanna and Janina Jonscher, Warsaw: Wydaw. Ministerstwa Obrony Narodowej, 1966, 286 pp. (Polish)
    • Anita G., suivi d'autres nouvelles, trans. Anne Gaudu, Paris: Gallimard, 1967, 243 pp. (French)
    • Personakter, trans. Elsie and Håkan Tollet, Stockholm: Norstedt, 1967, 220 pp. (Swedish)
    • Životopisy, trans. Jitka Bodláková, Prague: Svoboda, 1969, 194 pp. (Czech)
  • Schlachtbeschreibung, Olten/Freiburg im Breisgau: Walter, 1964; 2nd ed., Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1993. Fiction.
    • Slaget, trans. Elsie and Håkan Tollet, Stockholm: Norstedt, 1965, 307 pp. (Swedish)
    • Stalingrad: description d'une bataille, trans. Anne Gaudu, Paris: Gallimard, 1966, 284 pp. (French)
    • Taistelukuvaus, trans. Aaro Lassi, Helsinki: Tammi, 1966, 297 pp. (Finnish)
    • The Battle, trans. Leila Vennewitz, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967, 255 pp. (English)
    • Organizzazione di una disfatta: Stalingrado, Milan: Rizzoli, 1967, 271 pp. (Italian)
    • Slaget: En dokumentarisk skildring af slaget om Stalingrad, trans. Mogens Boisen, Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1967, 240 pp. (Danish)
  • with Oskar Negt, Öffentlichkeit und Erfahrung: Zur Organisationsanalyse von bürgerlicher und proletarischer Öffentlichkeit, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1972.
    • Offentlighet og erfaring, Grenå: GMT, 1974, 321 pp. (Norwegian)
    • Offentlighet og erfaring, trans. Rolf Reitan, Kongerslev: GMZ, 1974, xxiv+310 pp. (Danish)
    • Offentlighet og erfaring: til organisasjonsanalysen av borgerlig og proletarisk offentlighet, GMT, 1974, xxiv+305 pp. (Swedish)
    • Sfera pubblica ed esperienza: per un'analisi dell'organizzazione della sfera pubblica borghese e della sfera pubblica proletaria, trans. Teodoro Scamardi, pref. Pier Aldo Rovatti, Milan: Mazzotta, 1979, 228 pp. (Italian)
    • Public Sphere and Experience: Toward an Analysis of the Bourgeois and Proletarian Public Sphere, foreword Miriam Hansen, trans. Peter Labanyi, Jamie Owen Daniel, and Assenka Oksiloff, University of Minnesota Press, 1993, 305 pp. (English)
  • Lernprozesse mit tödlichem Ausgang, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1973; 4th ed., 1988. Sci-fi.
    • Massdöden i Venedig och andra läroprocesser med dödlig utgång, trans. Margaretha Holmqvist, Stockholm: PAN/Norstedt, 1977, 183 pp. (Swedish)
    • Learning Processes with a Deadly Outcome, trans. Christopher Pavsek, Duke University Press, 1996, xiv+112 pp. (English)
    • "Mass Death in Venice", trans. Jeffrey S. Librett, New German Critique 30 (Autumn 1983), pp 61-63. Excerpt. (English)
  • Gelegenheitsarbeit einer Sklavin. Zur realistischen Methode, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1975.
  • with Oskar Negt, Geschichte und Eigensinn, 3 vols., Frankfurt am Main: Zweitausendeins, 1981, 1283 pp; repr., Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1993. 1. Geschichtliche Organisation der Arbeitsvermögen; 2. Deutschland als Produktionsöffentlichkeit; 3. Gewalt des Zusammenhangs.
  • Die Macht der Gefühle, Frankfurt am Main: Zweitausendeins, 1984.
  • with Klaus von Bismarck, Günter Gaus, and Ferdinand Sieger, Industrialisierung des Bewußtseins, Munich: Piper, 1985, 220 pp.
  • Die Wächter des Sarkophags. 10 Jahre Tschernobyl, Hamburg: Rotbuch, 1996.
  • with Heiner Müller, Ich schulde der Welt einen Toten: Gespräche, Hamburg: Rotbuch, 1996, 110 pp.
    • Esprit, pouvoir et castration: entretiens inédits (1990-1994), trans. Marianne Beauviche and Eleonora Rossi, postf. Jean Jourdheuil, Paris: Editions théâtrales, 1998, 74 pp. [6] (French)
    • "Character Armour and Mobile Warfare", trans. Philip Thomson, in Kluge, Raw Materials for the Imagination, 2012, pp 365-368. Trans. of "Charakterpanzer und Bewegungskrieg", pp 85-91 in German edition. (English)
  • with Heiner Müller, Ich bin ein Landvermesser. Gespräche mit Heiner Müller. Neue Folge, Hamburg: Rotbuch, 1996, 180 pp.
    • Profession arpenteur: entretiens, nouvelles série (1993-1995), trans. Eleonora Rossi and Jean-Pierre Morel, postf. Jean-Pierre Morel, Paris: Editions théâtrales, 2000, 127 pp. [7] (French)
  • Chronik der Gefühle, 2 vols., Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2000. 1. Basisgeschichten; 2. Lebensläufe. Contains Schlachtbeschreibung, Lernprozesse mit tödlichen Ausgang, Lebensläufe and Neue Geschichten.
    • Chronique des sentiments, trans. & intro. Pierre Deshusses, Paris: Gallimard, 2003, 248 pp. (French)
    • Ur känslornas historia, trans. Lars Bjurman, Eslöv: Symposion, 2003, 224 pp. (Swedish)
    • Khronika chuvstv, trans. S. Romashko, Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2004, 384 pp. (Russian)
  • Facts & Fakes, 4 vols., eds. Christian Schulte and Reinald Gußmann, Berlin: Vorwerk 8, 2000-02.
  • with Oskar Negt, Der unterschätzte Mensch. Gemeinsame Philosophie in zwei Bänden, 2 vols., Frankfurt am Main: Zweitausendeins, 2001. 1. Suchbegriffe / Öffentlichkeit und Erfahrung / Massverhältnisse des Politischen; 2. Geschichte und Eigensinn. Contains Suchbegriffe (26 conversations and interviews first published in a book format), Öffentlichkeit und Erfahrung, Die Maßverhältnisse des Politischen (upd. & rev. ed. of Negt's and Kluge's critique of Realpolitik), and Geschichte und Eigensinn.
    • O que há de político na política? relações de medida em política; 15 propostas sobre a capacidade de discernimento, trans. João Azenha jún, São Paulo: UNESP, 1999, 316 pp. (Brazilian Portuguese)
  • Verdeckte Ermittlung. Ein Gespräch mit Christian Schulte und Rainer Stollman, eds. Christian Schulte and Rainer Stollman, Berlin: Merve, 2001.
  • Die Kunst, Unterschiede zu machen, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2003.
  • Die Lücke, die der Teufel lässt. Im Umfeld des neuen Jahrhunderts, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2003.
    • The Devil's Blind Spot: Tales From the New Century, trans. Martin Chalmers and Michael Hulse, New York: New Directions, 2004, viii+322 pp. [8] Contains 173 of the 500 stories in the original German edition. (English)
    • El hueco que deja el diablo historias del nuevo siglo, trans. Daniel Najmías, Barcelona: Anagrama, 2007, 377 pp. (Spanish)
  • with Dirk Baecker, Vom Nutzen ungelöster Probleme, Berlin: Merve, 2003.
  • Fontane – Kleist – Deutschland – Büchner: Zur Grammatik der Zeit, Berlin: Wagenbach, 2004.
    • De la grammaire du temps: Theodor Fontane, Heinrich von Kleist, Anna Wilde, G. E. Lessing, Jürgen Habermas, Heiner Müller, trans. Anne-Elise Delatte, Harmattan, 2003, 158 pp. (French)
  • Tür an Tür mit einem anderen Leben. 350 neue Geschichten, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2006.
  • Geschichten vom Kino, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2007. [9]
    • Cinema Stories, trans. Martin Brady and Helen Hughes, New York: New Directions, 2007, 111 pp. [10] (English)
    • 120 historias del cine, trans. Nicolás Gelormini, ed. Carla Imbrogno, Buenos Aires: Caja Negra, 2010, 307 pp. (Spanish)
  • Der Luftangriff auf Halberstadt am 8. April 1945 [1977], Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2008, 139 pp; new ed., commentary Thomas Combrink, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2011, 200 pp. [11] First appeared in Kluge, Neue Geschichten, 1977; repr. in Kluge, Chronik der Gefühle, Bd. II, 2000, pp 27-82.
    • "The Air Raid on Halberstadt, 8 April 1945", trans. Reinhard Mayer, Semiotext(e) 11 (1982), pp 306-315; repr. in Kluge, Raw Materials for the Imagination, 2012, pp 155-160. Extract. (English)
    • Air Raid, trans. Martin Chalmers, afterw. W. G. Sebald, London: Seagull, 2014, 144 pp. [12] (English)
    • Ataque aéreo a Halberstadt, el 8 de abril de 1945, trans. José Luis Arántegui, Boadilla del Monte: Antonio Machado, 2014, 132 pp. (Spanish)
  • with Joseph Vogl, Soll und Haben. Fernsehgespräche, Berlin: diaphanes, 2009.
    • "Tsunami of Emotion: On Puccini’s Tosca", trans. Robert Savage, in Kluge, Raw Materials for the Imagination, 2012, pp 378-386. Trans. of "Tsunami der Emotion. Über Tosca von Puccini", pp 73-84. (English)
    • Crédit et débit: entretiens télévisés, trans. Magali Jourdan and Mathilde Sobottke, Paris: diaphanes, 2013, 77 pp. (French)
  • Das Labyrinth der zärtlichen Kraft. 166 Liebesgeschichten, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2009.
  • with Gerhard Richter, Dezember, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2010.
    • December: 39 Stories, 39 Pictures, trans. Martin Chalmers, London: Seagull, 2012, 118 pp. [14] (English)
    • Décembre, Zurich: diaphanes, 2012, 128 pp. (French)
  • Das Bohren harter Bretter - 133 politische Geschichten, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2011. [15]
    • Ṯuqb al-alwāḥ aṣ-ṣalba 133 ḥikāya sīyāsīya, trans. ʻAlā ʻĀdil, al- Qāhira Ṣifṣāfa, 2014, 295 pp. (Arabic)
  • He has the heartless eyes of one loved above all else / Er hat die herzlosen Augen eines über alles Geliebten, trans. Christopher Jenkin-Jones, Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2011, 10 pp. Published in conjunction with Documenta 13. (English)/(German)
  • Das fünfte Buch: Neue Lebensläufe. 402 Geschichten, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2012. [16]
  • Personen und Reden, Berlin: Wagenbach, 2012.
  • Die Entsprechung einer Oase. Essay für die digitale Generation, Berlin: Mikrotext, 2013.
  • "Wer ein Wort des Trostes spricht, ist ein Verräter." 48 Geschichten für Fritz Bauer, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2013.
  • with Gerhard Richter, Nachricht von ruhigen Momenten, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2013.
  • 30. April 1945 – Der Tag, an dem Hitler sich erschoß und die Westbindung der Deutschen begann, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2014.
    • 30 April 1945: The Day Hitler Shot Himself and Germany's Integration with the West Began, trans. Wieland Hoban, afterw. Reinhard Jirgl, London: Seagull, 2015, 160 pp. Excerpts. [17] (English)
  • Temple of the Scapegoat: Opera Stories, trans. Isabel Fargo Cole, Donna Stonecipher, and Martin Chalmers, New York: New Directions Publishing, 2018, xii+193 pp. (English)
  • Gärten der Kooperation / Gardens of Cooperation, Stuttgart: Würtembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, 2017, 199 pp. Exhibition catalogue. [18] [19] (German)/(English)
  • with Ben Lerner, Schnee über Venedig, Leipzig: Spector Books, 2018, 300 pp. [20] (German)
    • The Snows of Venice, Leipzig: Spector Books, 2018, 300 pp. [21] (English)

Selected essays (books and journal issues)

Selected articles and interviews

  • "Das politische als Intensität alltäglicher Gefühle", in Freibeuter, Berlin, 1979, pp 56-62. Speech on the occasion of the award of the Fontane Prize for literature. The text is a transcript of a partly improvised speech.
  • "The Sharpest Ideology: That Reality Appeals to its Realistic Character", trans. David Roberts, On the Beach 3/4 (Summer 1984), pp 23-24; repr. in Kluge, Raw Materials for the Imagination, 2012, pp 191-196. (English)
  • "Die Macht der Bewußtseinsindustrie und das Schicksal unserer Öffentlichkeit. Zum Unterschied von machbar und gewalttätig", in Bismarck et al., Industrialisierung des Bewußtseins, 1985, pp 51-129; abridged as "Warum Kooperation zwischen Film und Fernsehen? Zur Mainzer Erklärung", in Neue Medien contra Filmkultur?, ed. Kraft Wetzel, Berlin, Volker Spiess, 1987, pp. 237-244. [23] The "Mainz Manifesto," coauthored by Heinz Ungureit, Guenter Rohrbach, Gunther Witte, and Kluge, was read on October 26, 1983, during the television criticism conference held at Mainz.
  • "Debatte über den Dokumentarfilm (Gespräch mit Klaus Eder)", in Kluge, In Gefahr und größter Not bringt der Mittelweg den Tod, 1999, pp 269-282.
  • with Jeff Mills, "Godfather des Techno", in Kluge, Verdeckte Ermittlung, ed. Berlin: Merve, 2001, pp 127-139.
  • "At the 2003 International Security Conference", trans. Kurt Beals, N+1 2 (Spring 2005), pp 109-120; repr. in Kluge, Raw Materials for the Imagination, 2012, pp 291-301. (English)
  • "Reading and Writing: How can I live? What can I know? What does the future hold?", in The New Alphabet: Opening Days, Berlin: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2019, pp 33-46. (English)