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Precarious Times: Temporality and History in Modern German Culture

Precarious Times: Temporality and History in Modern German Culture

Anne Fuchs

Nov 2019 | 342 pages | 6x9

ISBN: 9781501735103

Cornell University Library and Cornell University Press
$25.95 paper


In Precarious Times, Anne Fuchs explores how works of German literature, film, and photography reflect on the profound temporal anxieties precipitated by contemporary experiences of atomization, displacement, and fragmentation that bring about a loss of history and of time itself and that is peculiar to our current moment.

The digital age places premiums on just-in-time deliveries, continual innovation, instantaneous connectivity, and around-the-clock availability. While some celebrate this 24/7 culture, others see it as profoundly destructive to the natural rhythm of day and night—and to human happiness. Have we entered an era of a perpetual present that depletes the future and erodes our grasp of the past?

Beginning its examination around 1900, when rapid modernization was accompanied by comparably intense reflection on changing temporal experience, Precarious Times provides historical depth and perspective to current debates on the “digital now.” Expanding the modern discourse on time and speed, Fuchs deploys such concepts as attention, slowness and lateness to emphasize the uneven quality of time around the world.

About the author

Anne Fuchs is Professor and Director of the University College Dublin Humanities Institute. She is author of After the Dresden Bombing, Phantoms of War in Contemporary German Literature, Films and Discourse, and Die Schmerzensspuren der Geschichte. Follow her on Twitter, @AnneFuchsUCD.

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