New Book about Positano

Published in December 2021

208 pages

15,– €

ISBN 978-3-8031-2841-6


"The only vertical place in the world. Die Künstlerkolonie Positano" by Philipp Cepl and Gertrude Cepl-Kaufmann.

From the blurb:

Those who found Capri too gentrified and snobbish fled to the fishing village of Positano opposite. Clinging to the rocks, the place held daily dangers instead of serenity and idyll. With its countless staircases and sprawling clay roofs, at least the Tower of Babel must have provided the model. And at some point Odysseus had defied the sirens here.

Alma Mahler, Bertolt Brecht, Theodor Däubler, Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings, Gerhart Hauptmann, Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, Ernst Bloch, Paul Klee, Otto Pankok, Adolf Erbslöh, Anita Rée, Joe Lederer, Kurt Weill - they all came, some stayed and lived there for years.

The ground had been "pulled out from under their feet", as the social philosopher Alfred Sohn-Rethel put it. This village, as inhospitable as it was attractive, fitted the bill, and Positano became the congenial place for the period after the First World War. The village lost none of its charisma far beyond the Second World War until it was popularised by celebrities such as Liz Taylor.