Kunstsammlung NRW
Michael Krüger bei seiner "Auslese" am 2.11.2014, Foto: Kunstsammlung
this & that

From the "History of Beauty" to "Time Change"

A look back at a literary “Auslese” (Reading/Selection) in the Lokal Lieshout with Michael Krüger

By Maria Müller-Schareck for #32

By now, the list of “Ausleser” (readers/selectors) who have organized events for our series “Auslese – Bücher für die Sammlung” (Reading/Selection – Books for the Collection) – launched in summer of 2010 and, taking place four times annually – is rather long. It extends from specialists in literature such as Felicitas von Lovenberg, to writers like Durs Grünbein and Ingrid Bachér, artists like Katja Stuke and Elger Esser, and all the way to lawyers, theater professionals, and composers.

On Sunday November 2, 2014, Michael Krüger arrived with a selection of 15 books in his suitcase, all intended for our collection. Krüger is a man of language and of books: as an editor and publisher, he has shaped the program of Hanser Verlag for nearly half a century, has published the literary magazine Akzente, and been closely associated with countless writers from around the world.

But he himself too is a member of the writer’s guild: his poems, short stories, and novels fill volumes. Armed with just a few notes, Michael Krüger presents his selection – with a focus on literary texts that reflect upon art and works of art. Among them we find John Berger’s observations on things visible and things hidden, Umberto Eco’s History of Beauty, and polished essays and miniatures on 17th century Dutch painting from the pen of the lyricist and essayist Zbigniew Herbert.

Krüger regards Goethe’s descriptions and impressions of his journey to Italy as a highpoint of the genre. In conclusion, Krüger read three of his own poems from the volume Umstellung der Zeit (Time Change), which also finds its place now on the shelves of the Lokal Lieshout. With rapt concentration and excitement, the 60 visitors followed Michael Krüger’s presentation, which turned not just on the texts in and of themselves, but also on encounters with authors, and to some extent on his intensive and long-lasting friendships with them.

The series »Auslese – Bücher für die Sammlung« (Reading/Selection – Books for the Collection) is now a fixture of the program of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. For the 20th edition of the Sunday matinee, scheduled for February 1, 2015, we are looking forward to a visit by Bettina Fischer, director of Literaturhaus Köln.