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Difference and OrientationAn Alexander Kluge Reader$
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Alexander Kluge and Richard Langston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501739200

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501739200.001.0001

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Companions in Now-Time

Companions in Now-Time

(p.84) 4 Companions in Now-Time
Difference and Orientation

Alexander Kluge

, Richard Langston
Cornell University Press

This chapter presents Alexander Kluge's oblique meditation on books and collecting. In a letter to a Mr. B., Kluge describes his library and his relation to books. He claims that books have a will of their own. They find each other on their own accord. That is the principle guiding their rows, stacks, and piles. He says he does not own books he most admires; he lives with them. What Kluge finds trustworthy about books is that they connect centuries. No other medium connects authors over 2,000 years so reliably as the book. Ultimately, how Kluge treats his beloved books cannot be compared to the nurturing of a library. He then details how, in his parents' house, books were kept in an orderly fashion in the so-called gentlemen's study. This room was not for reading, but rather was especially meant for playing bridge.

Keywords:   Alexander Kluge, books, book collecting, library, gentlemen's study, authors, reading

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