Hans Magnus Enzensberger smiling in a face cut out of the spider on a web of Erté's stage set with a pink fluffy background.

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s contribution to the 1987 Luna Luna park were texts to be performed within Etre’s stage set

As André Heller’s favorite living German poet, Hans Magnus Enzensberger contributed texts in response to two “magic-theater paintings” by Heller titled The Deceived Deceivers and The Spider Woman. Enzensberger’s texts were performed as a play at Luna Luna’s Erté-designed stage set.

Artist

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Attraction

​​Texts performed within Erté’s stage set

Born

1929, Germany

Enzensberger was a leading poet, editor, and political thinker in postwar Germany

Founded the Kursbuch (“Classbook”) and TransAtlantik (“Transatlantic”) journals and the long-running monthly publication series Die Andere Bibliothek (“The Other Library”)

He developed the concept of the “consciousness industry” to critique how mainstream media controls individuals and maintains social order

Hans Magnus Enzensberger within a “magic-theater painting” inside Erté’s Art Deco-style stage set. Luna Luna, Hamburg, Germany, June-July, 1987.

Hans Magnus Enzensberger within a “magic-theater painting” inside Erté’s Art Deco-style stage set. Luna Luna, Hamburg, Germany, June-July, 1987.

Leading cultural essayist, poet, and novelist Hans Magnus Enzensberger reckoned with the global political climate for over half a century. Enzensberger, who came of age under the Third Reich, played a pivotal role in confronting the complexities of the German postwar era with irony, sharp wit, and a contrarian nature.

Hans Magnus Enzensberger texts performed within Erté’s Art Deco-style stage set. Luna Luna, Hamburg, Germany, June-July, 1987.

Hans Magnus Enzensberger texts performed within Erté’s Art Deco-style stage set. Luna Luna, Hamburg, Germany, June-July, 1987.

Across his wide range of creative outputs—including radio programs, translation, novels, editorials, children’s literature, and epic verse—Enzensberger turned a sharp lens toward the systems of power and information that structure contemporary society. He coined the concept of the “consciousness industry” to question the ways that mass media and education systems indoctrinate audiences, shaping the mind as a social product to think and behave in uniform ways. His provocative works—which he often published under aliases such as Andreas Thalmayr and Linda Quilt—are written to jolt readers into questioning the world around them.

Enzensberger turned a sharp lens toward the systems of power and information that structure contemporary society.

Central to Enzensberger’s work was the creation of shared forums for cultural and political expression. His methods were both academic and playful, including the establishment of multiple literary and cultural journals, including Die Andere Bibliothek (“The Other Library”), a distributed series of historical and contemporary writings; and the creation of a machine program that automatically generates poetry.

Hans Magnus Enzensberger and André Heller.

Hans Magnus Enzensberger.

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In the original Luna Luna book, translated and reissued for the first time since 1987.