Byung-Chul Han

  • The crisis of narration
  • Lecture

Narratives give life meaning, support and orientation. They are full of experiences and are passed down through generations. In today’s world, storytelling is spreading amidst a great disorientation and emptiness of meaning that characterize our information society. While it serves a deeply felt need for narrative, it ultimately produces only narratives in consumer form. Narrative and advertising fall into one. Capitalism appropriates narrative: stories sell. Storytelling is storyselling. As a result, narratives lose their original power.

“Narratives bring forth a community. Storytelling, on the other hand, only builds a community of consumers,” says Byung-Chul Han. The narrative crisis of modernity is due to the fact that the world is flooded with information. The spirit of narrative is suffocating in the flood of information.

Byung-Chul Han, born in Seoul in 1959, studied philosophy, German literature and Catholic theology in Freiburg and Munich. As a professor of philosophy, he has taught at the Karlsruhe Art Academy and the Berlin University of the Arts, among others.
Han is considered the “new star of German philosophy” (El Pais) and was chosen by the art magazine ArtReview as one of the 100 most influential people in art worldwide. His works have already been translated into over 20 languages.

Foto: Sarina Chamatova

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