Merve Publishing House

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The Merve publishing house is a German publishing company based in Leipzig and the program focus on philosophy , art history and politics .

Publishing history

The founding date of the West Berlin publishing house can be February 17, 1970. On this day the later founders of the publishing house Peter Gente , Merve Lowien , Rüdiger Möllering and Michael Kwiatkowski printed a book for the first time, How should we read 'Das Kapital' by Louis Althusser , which was published without a publisher's name. In the GmbH's founding contract of June 23, 1970, Peter Gente, Merve Lowien, Dieter Reincke, Michael Kwiatkowski and Rüdiger Möllering are named as members of the publishing house. In the first few years they called themselves a socialist collective . The publisher's name goes back to the first name of Merve Lowien; the suggestion to choose this as the publisher's name came from the Merve collective. Wolfgang Hagen was the managing director and editor . Hanns Zischler was not a member at the time. Ghent's partner Heidi Paris (1950–2002) later joined the publishing house and the collective broke up. Together with Peter Gente, she largely determined the program for more than two decades. The Merve books have been printed with the distinctive look designed by Jochen Stankowski , the Merve diamond, since the publishing house was founded .

In the neo-Marxist early phase of the publishing house one focus was on Italy . The radical left groups Il Manifesto and Lotta Continua were given a forum here, and important Leninist philosophers such as Lucio Colletti and Toni Negri became known in Germany through Merve . Papers by the Frankfurt group “ Revolutionäre Kampf ”, in which Joschka Fischer was also involved, also appeared here.

The publishing archive was purchased by the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe in 2006 . Peter Gente left Merve Verlag after 37 years and moved to Thailand in 2007 . Today the Merve-Verlag continues to exist under the direction of Tom Lamberty , who has been with the publishing house since the death of Heidi Paris in 2002. The publishing house has been in Leipzig since 2017.

The cultural historian Philipp Felsch has a study that encompasses almost the entire history of the publishing house in his book The Long Summer of Theory . History of a revolt 2015 presented at CH Beck.


In 1977 - after Gente and Paris visited Michel Foucault - works by Foucault were included in the publishing program. His texts, as well as Rhizom and Thousand Plateaus by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, are still among the best-selling books to this day. In the 1980s, Merve-Verlag published numerous works from the area of ​​French postmodernism and poststructuralism . Other well-known authors of the publishing house are Dirk Baecker , Jean Baudrillard , Hannes Böhringer , Christian Borngräber , Rainald Goetz , Jean-Luc Godard , François Jullien , Thomas Kapielski , QRT (Konradin Leiner), Jean-François Lyotard , Heiner Müller , Wolfgang Müller , Michel Serres , Harald Szeemann , Jacob Taubes and Paul Virilio . The publisher became known, among other things, through a series of publications that analytically dealt with the topic of "New Technologies". More recently, the publisher has published articles on art theory with Alain Badiou , Jacques Rancière , Armen Avanessian , Marcus Steinweg and Nicolas Bourriaud and contributed to the architecture and economics discussions with authors such as Friedrich von Borries , Matthias Böttger , Stefan Heidenreich and Ralph Heidenreich . The only series of the publisher in which the majority of the publications appear is called “Internationaler Merve Diskurs” (IMD) - formerly “International Marxist Discussion” (IMD).

More recently, the publisher, in collaboration with the philosopher and literary theorist Armen Avanessian, has published a variety of titles on speculative realism and accelerationism . These include authors such as Ray Brassier , Graham Harman , Quentin Meillassoux , Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams .

The publishing program so far comprises around 400 titles. On average, a new title appears about every month.


In 2001, due to its committed and intellectually demanding program, Merve Verlag was the first to receive the Kurt Wolff Prize for the promotion of a diverse publishing and literary scene.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Merve Lowien: Female Productive Power - Is There Another Economy? Berlin 1977, p. 35 f.
  2. Thinker and Punk , Die Zeit , February 15, 2007, No. 8
  3. Merve Lowien: Female Productive Power - Is There Another Economy? Berlin 1977, p. 45.
  4. Homepage Heidi Paris
  5. ^ Merve publishing house in West Berlin. A short cultural history of the old Federal Republic , review by René Aguigah on Deutschlandradio Kultur on March 6, 2015, accessed May 20, 2017
  6. Speculative Realism. About a new way of living on earth , contribution by Thomas Pelzer to Deutschlandfunk on February 21, 2016, accessed October 1, 2017
  7. Daniel Boese : Speculative Realism for Beginners. Hallo Welt ( Memento from October 2, 2017 in the Internet Archive ), in: art - Das Kunstmagazin from January 8, 2014, accessed October 1, 2017
  8. Cord Riechelmann : The revolution should hurry , in: FAZ , December 23, 2013.
  9. Georg Dickmann : Der Zeitkomplex, Postcontemporary , in: Edit from May 25, 2016, accessed October 1, 2017.

Coordinates: 51 ° 20 ′ 16.4 ″  N , 12 ° 22 ′ 2.3 ″  E