To go hunting with the strength of a lion and the head of a man or to be able to dive down into the depths with the tail of a fish - who hasn't dreamt of this from time to time? But even when we get serious about our feelings, animals quickly come into play. One takes a matter 'animalistically seriously' or 'suffers animalistically', is an 'intelligence beast', behaves like a wolf in sheep's clothing or falls upon the world like locusts. Not to mention the ominous black cats. Somewhere in the no-man's land of our emotions, there seems to be an imaginary but highly intense contact zone between humans and animals.
Jürgen Wertheimer explores these unknown territories and traverses cultural history in search of the sources of art. He states: Without the confrontation with animals, we would never have been placed in the necessity to unfold our creative potential. In the mysterious intermediate realm of man and animal lie the centre of our being and the origins of our culture.
English sample available
Jürgen Wertheimer, 1947 in München geboren, ist Professor für Internationale Literaturen an der Universität Tübingen. Seit 2017 leitet er das »Projekt Cassandra« zur Früherkennung von Krisen durch Literaturauswertung und ist Autor zahlreicher Bücher zur europäischen Kulturgeschichte.