- date of publication: 25.01.2021
- 304 Pages
- Hanser Verlag
- ISBN 978-3-446-26774-9
- Deutschland: 28,00 €
- Österreich: 28,80 €
- E-Book ISBN 978-3-446-27066-4
- E-Book Deutschland: 20,99 €
From Goethe’s Faust to a “handball” in soccer, this is a cultural history from an unusual new angle
They grip and feel, caress and hit. We wave them to welcome people and use them to sign contracts. No part of our body is as versatile as our hands. Their prominent role in our lives is evident in everyday language: we ‘take something in hand’, we cannot dismiss something ‘out of hand’ and we see a goal ‘within hand’s reach’ – if we don’t have ‘two left hands’ at least. Jochen Hörisch shows us a whole variety of hands that can be found throughout literature and the history of ideas.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that the most famous figure in German literature is called Faust (‘fist’ in English). Generations of people before us have felt ‘saved by the hand of God’ and today, many trust the ‘invisible hand’ of the market. Each era has its own associations with hands — and as we enter a period in history when machines are becoming increasingly voice-controlled, this says a great deal about the change we are undergoing.
“(A)s a cultural history, this book [...] is most convincing regarding language and literature”
- Volkmar Mühleis, Deutschlandfunk Büchermarkt
“Jochen Hörisch has succeeded in analysing the shift of symbolic meanings of hands as a regulatory idea and force in the process of secularization.”
- Hans-Dieter Grünefeld, Buchkultur
"It is erudite and witty. [...] Jochen Hörisch is a free spirit who always manages to discover new aspects in even the most unspectacular details. Well done.”
- Klaus Welzel, Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung
"[A] very readable cultural history of hands [...] In a stimulating narrative tone, Hörisch introduces us to the large word family of hands and its broad metaphors.
- Ingeborg Waldinger, Die Furche