GEFÜHLIGE ZEITEN. Die zwanghafte Sehnsucht nach dem Echten/ EMOTIONAL TIMES. The Compulsive Yearning for Authenticity
Non-Fiction, ca. 280 pp.
Authenticity compulsion: from shabby chic to extreme sport to withdrawal – we are all searching for the authentic feeling
Neo-romanticism in the virtual age
When the band Unheilig sings the lyrics: ‘No moment is ever lost when it lives on in our hearts’ or Mark Forster intonates to the sound of violins: ‘I am going on a journey. I am doing those things, which I missed out on. I am leaving everything behind me. I have something special in sight’, then we have our finger on the pulse of our times. The utopia of an authentic, true life stirs us up – sometimes in shockingly corny phrases.
The unease of leading a life almost as if behind glass, feeds our yearning for strong emotions, for the big wide world and old times. Some retreat into their own-home idylls, others restlessly seek happiness far away. On the one side, organic lemonade, Biedermeier-style and shabby chic, on the other, extreme sports and all sorts of escapades.
In ‘Emotional Times’, Christian Saehrendt pointedly examines our new attitude towards life. He looks for the strength behind all these paradoxical flights. His diagnosis: We are living in an era of neo-romanticism, which can be seen as a result of a profound alienation, just as it was some 200 years ago. Fully air-conditioned, fully insured, cocooned in dense data smog and blinded by flickering displays; at best, we still have weak visual contact to the real life.
Christian Saehrendt, born in 1968, is a historian and art historian and completed his doctorate at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität in Heidelberg in 2002. He lives in Berlin and on Lake Thun in Switzerland. DuMont has published the following titles that he wrote together with Steen T. Kittl: ‘Das kann ich auch!’ (2013/2007), ‘Das sagt mir was!’ (2008), ‘Geier am Grabe van Goghs’ (2010), as well as ‘Du hast die Haare schön!’ (2014).