A Pleasant Apocalypse: Notes from the Grand Hotel Abyss

38.00 euros

A grand hotel on the edge of the abyss? The phrase that provided the title and the agenda for steirischer herbst ’19—Grand Hotel Abyss came from the pen of the philosopher Georg Lukács. In the early 1930s he used this striking metaphor to describe the attitude of the European intellectual and cultural scene who continued to party in an uninhibited, hedonistic manner, despite the looming rise of fascism. Doomsday scenarios viewed from a snug sofa, along with the culinary and cultural comfort zones known as “Genusshauptstädte” (pleasure capitals), demonstrate that the apocalypse can be shaped in a thoroughly pleasant and exciting manner today.

This reader, accompanying the 52nd edition of steirischer herbst, tracks these observations and explores the relevance of this historical context, as well as the significance of critical artistic attitudes, in essays, artists’ texts, and numerous illustrations.

With contributions by Ariel Efraim Ashbel, Keti Chukhrov, Goran Ferčec, Riccardo Giacconi, Eva Illouz, Siegfried Kracauer, Stephan Lessenich, Daniel Mann, Marko Radmilovič, Aaron Schuster, Vladimir Sorokin, Hasso Spode, Michiel Vandevelde, Gernot Wieland, Evan Calder Williams

Edited by Ekaterina Degot, David Riff

Design by Grupa Ee

English, May 2020
248 pages, 78 illustrations, 15 × 24 cm, softcover
Hatje Cantz
ISBN 978-3-7757-4746-2