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What happens to a country that cannot process the burdens of its own history? How long will the past haunt us, and is there absolvation?
“This is a culture that validates injustice. It erects buildings that look as if they are about to collapse. ” - The words of Rolf Peter Sieferle tear as a pungent critique into the intersection of strictly European and strictly politically correct views in the mainstream of German thought today.
The book analyzes the state of today's German society, and the political and cultural phenomena thereof. It is not considered a political essay, it uses fiction rather than a scientific tone, and upon being published as the “book of the month”, it topped the charts, but many also criticized it for its overly gloomy tone.
Indeed, Sieferle is not cautious to hit the German political elite, blaming it for the lack of real confrontation with the traumas of the 20th century and for the decadence that prevails throughout society as a result of bad decisions. And although he names himself as a member of the ‘68 generation of intellectuals, he cynically looks at the myth of Western rebels, including his former self.
And what about his vision for the future? The genre, “Nachtgedanken” (“night thoughts”, after the famous work of the 17th-century English poet Edward Young) is a giveaway in itself, but the title leaves no room for doubt: according to the author, “Germania” is rushing to her own destruction.
The work was published in German in 2017, shortly after the author’s death. The volume published in Hungarian by Osiris Publishing House and with the participation of Mathias Corvinus Collegium in 2020 is commercially available.