Book Cover »1919«
A Lecture by Herbert Kapfer
Wed, April 03, 2019 7 pm CEST, Reading

After an introduction by Peter Weibel, the author and publicist Herbert Kapfer reads from his new book »1919«. Afterwards a discussion takes place.

1919: Germany immediately after the First World War. Uprising. Räterepubliken. Freikorps fights. Treaty of Versailles. Dagger thrust, political murder, revenge and Nazism: Could history have gone differently?

Stories from 1919 present the thousand-fold problems of a time shaken by the explosions of war and marked by catastrophic defeat, by hunger, mass misery and war profiteers, by fanatical nationalism and social revolutionary ideas, by military violence and fantasies of free love.

Hundreds of fragments, scenes and storylines from contemporary novels, reports and essays flow together. A narrative stream in 123 chapters that draws on the ideas and struggles of the time, from trivial, ethnic, utopian, Dadaist, reactionary, political, literary and photographic sources. A game with historical possibilities and literary figures, imagined stories and real events, collective delusions and individual realities. A fiction that presents extreme positions and sharpens the contradictions of the Weimar Republic, that tells of Kaiser Wilhelm's happiness and end, of the brotherhood of vagabonds and the demise of a fleet, of the dreams of art and the return of German submarines. A groundbreaking book about the end of a world that was a future.

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media