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German magazine Der Spiegel celebrated Male Phantasies in 1977 as being “probably the most exciting German publication of the year”. Forty and some odd years later, the reprint and new edition of Male Phantasies still captivates audiences with its alarming relevance. On some 1200 pages, art historian Klaus Theweleit exposes Europe’s patriarchal history that led the way to National Socialism. In the words of Rudolf Augstein: “If you scratch beneath the surface of the male character, you will find how his roots in fascism lead back to the beginning of time.”
Theweleit’s research into the history of violence has its starting point with structures of the body: Members of the SS, ISIS fighters or terrorists like Anders Breivik only ever kill in accordance with the fascist principle of cleansing the earth of all ‘otherness’, obeying a superpower and preserving the body of this power structure. Theweleit states that fascism is no ideology but a “destructive way of creating reality”. The body being its battlefield.
born in 1942, studied German and English literature. He is a literary scholar, cultural theorist, and author. His 1978 bestseller and book in two volumes Male Phantasies has received international acclaim. Theweleit is a lecturer at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Freiburg. From 1998 to 2008, he was also professor of art and theory at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe.
He was visiting professor at US universities Dartmouth College, Santa Barbara, Charlottesville, Virginia. His publications include: Buch der Könige (drei Bände, 1988–1994), Der Knall: 11. September, das Verschwinden der Realität und ein Kriegsmodell (2002), Deutschlandfilme. Filmdenken und Gewalt (2003), Der Pocahontas-Komplex (drei Bände, 1999–2013) und Das Lachen der Täter: Breivik u. a. Psychogramm der Tötungslust (2015).