Der rote Faden
Maurice Merleau-Ponty und die Politik der Wahrnehmung
[The Red Thread. Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the Politics of Perception]

August Verlag, Berlin 2023, 285 pages
ISBN 978-3-7518-9016-8

Not only in his nowadays widely forgotten texts on the Communist Party, the Moscow Trials, the camp system in the Soviet Union, and the situation of the French colonies and many other issues of his time, but throughout his entire, extensive body of work, Maurice Merleau-Ponty has developed a nuanced “politics of perception.” Following its central thoughts and concepts, Oliver Precht explains the development and polyphony of Merleau-Ponty’s work, demonstrating its insoluble entanglements with the history of nature, politics, and thought. The book shows that it is precisely because of this entanglement within its own time and its historical and political situatedness that Merleau-Ponty’s thought holds an offer for the present. As a comprehensive portrait of this “thinker of entanglements,” the book shows how Merleau-Ponty’s radically undogmatic, existential Marxism provides the philosophical foundations for a leftist politics that does not lose its thread, not even in the age of the Anthropocene.

The book is complemented by a brilliant text by Merleau-Ponty which has been translated for the first time. It was originally meant to be included in his unfinished late main work The Visible and the Unvisible.


Media Response

19 Jan 2024
Der rote Faden

Review by Maurice Schuhmann, in: Kultur und Politik. Cultureglobe, 19 Jan 2024

14 Dec 2023
Frohe Botschaft des “L’Ineinander”

Recommendation by Jakob Hayner, in: Neues Deutschland, 14 Dec 2023