The Black City
The Black City is a portrait of New York City written by Hubert Fichte between 1978 and 1980. Fichte researched the city as the center of the African diaspora, conducting interviews and composing essays about syncretism in culture and the arts, material living conditions in the city, and political and individual struggles based on race, class, and sexuality. His interview partners include Michael Chisolm, arts educator and coordinator of the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition; German émigré and artist Lil Picard; photographer Richard Avedon; Léopold Joseph, publisher of the exile newspaper Haiti Observateur; and Teiji Ito, composer and Vodou initiate. The last chapter of the book is a self-reflective literary analysis of Herodotus, the first white European to write extensively of his travels and encounters with the other in Africa.
Hubert Fichte (b.1935) is considered one of Germany’s most important postwar authors. Often compared to the work of Jean Genet and Kathy Acker, Fichte’s novels and nonfiction are exuberant and erudite, contesting the stylistic and ethnographic norms of the time. Translated into English for the first time, The Black City forms part of his multivolume experimental literary cycle, The History of Sensitivity, which was left unfinished due to Fichte’s untimely death in 1986.
Published in conjunction with the project “Hubert Fichte: Love and Ethnology,” a collaboration between the Goethe-Institut and Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin, supported by S. Fischer Stiftung and S. Fischer Verlag. Foreword by Diedrich Diederichsen and Anselm Franke, with photographs by Leonore Mau.
Hardcover, 12 1/2 x 19, 368 pp, 14 b/w
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