Thomas Hettche

Our Empty Hearts. On Literature

Unsere leeren Herzen

Our Empty Hearts. On Literature

Hermann Hesse Literary Prize 2018

Unsere leeren Herzen (“Our Empty Hearts”) continues the essayistic-narrative explorations that Thomas Hettche began in Fahrtenbuch (“Logbook”) and Totenberg – and thus his intellectual autobiography, which also comprises his highly acclaimed work as a novelist.

Without culturally pessimistic sentimentality, but aware that metaphysical questions of meaning have become increasingly pressing in our fundamentally threatened Western societies, in his essays Thomas Hettche passionately interrogates the purpose and future of literature. Against the naïve belief that we can reproduce the world, which dominates our present and undermines literature’s promise of joy and insight, in Unsere leeren Herzen (“Our Empty Hearts”) Hettche traces the sources of another realism – indeed, of another modernity.

Thomas Hettche’s essays are in equal measure precise diagnoses of our crisis-ridden, disenchanted modernity and a brave stocktaking of his own consciousness and thoughts.



ISBN: 978-3-462-05068-4
release: 09. November 2017
208 pages, Leinen


20,00 €
0,00 sFr
20,60 €

About the Author

Since his 1989 debut Ludwig muß sterben (“Ludwig Must Die”), the novelist Thomas Hettche has been a frequently polarizing and always surprising literary voice in Germany. His bestseller Pfaueninsel (“Peacock Island”), the atmospheric story of a diminutive woman in 19th-century Prussia, won the Wilhelm Raabe Prize, Wolfgang Koeppen Prize, Solothurn Literature Prize and Bavarian Book Award, among other distinctions.

Further titles by the author:
Ludwig muß sterben
Der Fall Arbogast
Woraus wir gemacht sind
Fahrtenbuch 1993–2007
Die Liebe der Väter