Publication Date: 24/02/2022 ISBN: 9780141988580 Category:

Time of the Magicians

Wolfram Eilenberger

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication Date: 24/02/2022 ISBN: 9780141988580 Category:
Paperback / Softback


This book is scheduled to be published on 24/02/2022.
You can order it now and we'll ship it once available.


The year is 1919. Walter Benjamin flees his overbearing father to scrape a living as a critic. Ludwig Wittgenstein signs away his inheritance, seeking spiritual clarity. Martin Heidegger renounces his faith and align his fortunes with Husserl’s phenomenological school. Ernst Cassirer sketches a new schema of human culture on a cramped Berlin tram. The stage is set for a great intellectual drama. Over the next decade, the lives and thought of this quartet will converge and intertwine as each gains world-historical significance, between them remaking philosophy.

Time of the Magicians brings to life this unparalleled burst of intellectual creativity and with it an entire era, from post-war exuberance to economic crisis and the emergence of National Socialism. It becomes an intellectual adventure story, a captivating journey through the greatest revolution in Western thought told through its four protagonists, each with their own penetrating gaze and answer to the question which has animated philosophy from the very beginning: What are we?

Publisher Review

A tremendous feat of scholarship but also a technical masterpiece, knitting together the four men's love lives, money troubles, ontological anxieties and the wider ferment of the Weimar republic with uncommon dexterity -- Oliver Moody * The Times * Splendid, highly entertaining, attentive -- Jonathan Derbyshire * Financial Times * Magnificent, elegantly composed and beautifully narrated -- David Motadel * The Times Literary Supplement * Eilenberger's survey of high thoughts and low politics among German-language philosophers of the 1920s is a salutary tale for today, not just a gripping panorama of century-old dreams and feuds * Economist * Accessible and deeply human ... He draws these four intellectual magi out of the shadows of their writings -- John Kaag * The New York Times * Like any great story, Eilenberger's is not made up, but retrieved. Events have a way of narrating themselves when they encounter a gifted storyteller -- Costica Bradatan * Los Angeles Review of Books * A book of riches - full of stories as well as ideas, all brought together with a fine light touch -- Sarah Bakewell

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