Themed room Hans in Luck
Themed room Hans in Luck © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Puppentheatersammlung
‘How happy am I!’ cried he; ‘nobody was ever so lucky as I.’ Then up he got with a light heart, free from all his troubles, and walked on till he reached his mother’s house.

The story “Hans in Luck” by the Brothers Grimm tells of a chain of exchange transactions. As a reward for his seven years of service, Hans is given a huge gold nugget that is too heavy for him to carry. Hans exchanges the gold for a horse. But even this swap doesn’t satisfy him. Steadily exchanging one item for another of lesser value, Hans finally returns home with no property to his name.

Reading the tale leaves behind a peculiar sense of meaning not only expressed in the prosaic “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” (Kristofferson), but that resonates at a deeper, anarchic but logical truth that perhaps can only be understood as narrative.

During the Kultursymposium the Parkhöhle Weimar will become a thematic space for the fairy tale “Hans in Luck.” Participants can experience a kaleidoscope of different approaches and attempts to lend meaning to this fascinating tale of a negative economy that make the global diversity of cultures and values tangible.