Politics and Literature. Novels for the New Century
Can there be prosperity under the conditions of the climate crisis? Are sustainability and the promise of growth mutually compatible? And how does care work in class society? What is the relationship between identity politics and racism, between the acknowledgement of basic rights and authoritarianism, between migration and the fortress Europe? Who are we allowed to love and how, and how do we want to shape our lives?
Currently, discussions on crises are omnipresent—even in literature. Does the joint reading and discussion of novels help us perceive, experience, and reflect political and social crises as well as conflicts differently? Are novels political in a special way—unlike journalistic texts or parliamentary rhetoric, for example? And what literary traditions is contemporary political literature based on?
In the book club, we want to explore and reflect these and other issues together while also observing what happens to us when we talk about literature and politics. Do we find specific problems unacceptable, outdated, or especially relevant? What worlds can we imagine ourselves to be in, which characters can we show empathy for? Does an engagement with literature provide us with a new orientation in our everyday lives? Can the book club itself be a place where we become more political while having fun in the process?