Delegating, doing the work, repairing sockets: Steffen Martus and Carlos Spoerhase explore the question of what humanities scholars actually do on 600 pages.
Despite its seemingly continuous presence in the humanities, the mind is an ephemeral entity. As soon as he turns up, he’s often gone again, and anyone who thought they were still in his possession looks stupid. If you have counted on his arrival, he will not come, and if you hope for the spirit to arrive because you need it urgently, you can sometimes wait a long time: “Sometimes the person sitting at the work table scratches his head and puts his chin in his hand , moves the chair, reaches for a book or a copy,” report Steffen Martus and Carlos Spoerhase, both professors of modern German literature and therefore professionals in dealing with the spirit. “When things are going badly,” it says of the person who waits in vain for inspiration, “he gets up, leaves the room, comes back with a cup of coffee.”