In the historic tradition of calendar stories and calendar illustrations, author and film director Alexander Kluge and celebrated visual artist Gerhard Richter have composed December, a collection of thirty-nine stories and thirty-nine snow-swept photographs for the darkest month of the year.
‘More than a few of Kluge’s many books are essential, brilliant achievements. None are without great interest.’ —Susan Sontag
‘Alexander Kluge, that most enlightened of writers.’ —W.G. Sebald
‘Alexander Kluge and Gerhard Richter’s December (translated by Martin Chalmers) revives a related tradition: the calendar as history, or the ’chronicle.’ Kluge’s texts—one for each day of the month—appear opposite images of winter wastescapes by Richter, together forming a stark, disconcerting record of a Germany frozen if not temporally then spiritually.’ —Harper's Magazine
‘December physically ferries the reader back and forth between word and image, prompting a search for equivalents, as well as for those lost elements that have no equivalents. The space that December inhabits—a winter at once ominous and intimate, the last breath of the year in anticipation of its end and rebirth—is not unlike the space of translation.’ —Quarterly Conversation
‘Oftentimes, the writing feels like stage direction or filmic dialogue, a fact attributable to Kluge’s cinematic background. At other moments (and these are some of the best moments), the writing is composed in delightful and terrible aphorisms, a fact that speaks to the total irony and sincerity of the book. “A MODERN BANK IS NO TREASURE OF MONEY BUT A CHEST FULL OF PRECEDING ACTIONS AND COLLECTED ERRORS,” the text yells, before sliding into a narrative of long negotiations over stale water and a fully exhausted pretzel supply.’ —Readux
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