Bernd Brunner

The Book of Night

When darkness falls, the coordinates that usually guide our perception shift. In The Book of Night, Bernd Brunner takes us on a tour through the fascinating hours between dusk and dawn, drawing on history, mythology, biology, and literature to shed light on our relationship to the night. For millennia, nature imposed a strict rhythm on our lives. The day was devoted to activities of all kinds – but when the sun went down, the world sank into slumber and dreams. Only nocturnal creatures and passionate noctivagants like Goethe – who loved to go swimming by moonlight – appreciated the bright side of darkness. Nighttime activities always had something subversive, forbidden, and exciting about them. But since the invention of artificial light, the night has lost more and more of its mystique. Streetlights turned the dark into day. “Let’s murder the moonlight!” was the battle cry of the Futurists, whose movement coincided with the rise of legendary nightclubs, dance palaces, and Berlin’s famous cabarets. The Book of Night introduces us to shadowy figures, superstitions, and customs and takes us on a journey of discovery that leaves us amazed at the secrets that the night, despite everything, still holds.

Germany: Galiani Berlin bei Kiepenheuer & Witsch