German Book Club
Christian Kracht: Die Toten (The Dead)
Goethe-Institut Los Angeles
At the October 2017 meeting the German Book Club will read and discuss "Die Toten / The Dead" by Christian Kracht.
Berlin, early 1930s. Acclaimed Swiss film director Emil Nägeli is offered a large sum of money to travel to Japan and make a monumental film that shows off the cinematic dominance of Germany. Conspiring with Jewish film critics Lotte Eisner and Siegfried Kacauer, his real goal is to ‘fleece the Reich’ by making a monumental, allegorical spectacle of horror.
In Japan, meanwhile, Germanophile film minister Masahiko Amakasu wishes to attract a German film-maker to Japan to counter the influence of Hollywood and establish a ‘celluloid axis’...
Set against the backdrop of film history and rising totalitarianism, The Dead explores the future axis of power between Germany and Japan from the perspective of two people obsessed with the potential of modernist cinema. Whereas Nägeli sees the subversive potential of his chosen art form, Amakasu is primarily interested in its propagandistic power.
Kracht returns again and again to a theme that also appeared in his previous bestseller Imperium: the ability, or inability, of film to refigure, record and even surpass reality.
Christian Kracht is a Swiss novelist, journalist, and screenwriter.
His previous books include Faserland, 1979, and I Will Be Here, in Sunshine and in Shadow.
Imperium was the recipient of the 2012 Wilhelm Raabe literature prize.
This meeting of the German Book Club will be moderated by Eric Roberts.
Language: Discussion in German
Price: Free Admission