Press comments on the audio books by onomato Verlag


Audio book tip from Deutsche Welle: »Giordano Bruno«

Script of the literary program »Book World«
Review by Kristine von Soden

He was executed at the stake in Rome on February 17, 1600 as a heretic, as a victim of the Church. Because he had postulated the eternity of the universe and that there would be no afterlife: Giordano Bruno, the Italian poet and philosopher.

 Original sound 1 - CD 1 - Track 1 - 0'39 ”

“Flowing through all the limbs, completely united with the body. This is how the spirit moves matter. What is nature but the divine power which drives matter, the eternal order pressed into everything. Nature is God in things. God is the infinite in the infinite, the omnipresence in everything, not above the universe or outside it, but in the highest way present in everything, immanent in everything. "

Axel Grube speaks the demanding text - slowly and calmly and with deliberately set caesuras that are initially unfamiliar when listening, but after a while prove to be extremely beneficial. Because it takes time to get into the philosophical considerations, to empathize with them. It is therefore helpful that there are always thematic »backgrounds« to be found on the three CDs, for example on the Inquisition or on Galileo's »positive science«. Or to views about Giordano Bruno, like that of Ernst Bloch:

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»Bruno's philosophy was a new commitment to this world after the long afterlife of the Middle Ages, including late antiquity. His philosophy presents itself as if there had never been Christianity. "

Giordano Bruno was born under the name Filippo Bruno in 1548 in Nola near Naples. There he studied logic and dialectics in the studio at the Free University and joined the Dominican order at the age of 17. With the help of biographical texts, the life story of the heretic is told in the audio book - spoken, like everything, by Axel Grube, who is also the producer and outfitter of the Düsseldorf-based onomato Verlag, in which the audio book was published - as usual in an aesthetically designed box made of light gray Cardboard, the CDs are on parchment paper. A nice present! Especially since many of Giordano Bruno's thoughts may stimulate reflection more than ever today:

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“Time takes everything and gives everything, everything changes, nothing is destroyed. Only one thing cannot change, one thing is eternal and can exist forever as one, the same and the same. "

It was not until 2000 that the papal cultural council declared the execution of the scholar Giordano Bruno to be injustice. A complete rehabilitation by the Catholic Church has not yet taken place.


Great minds to hear

Vorarlberger Nachrichten / by Dr. Bruno Laß

…) Things are completely different with the portrait of Friedrich Hölderlin. As a counter-program to the standardized plastic look of most CDs, the Onomato publishing house in Düsseldorf has decided to present German classics in an otically appealing packaging. The present recording, read by the publisher Axel Grube himself, contains a well thought-out selection of texts and letters by and about Hölderlin, who is wrongly labeled as difficult. Other, equally recommended audio books from the committed small publisher are Friedrich Nietzsche, Franz Kafka and the work of the Brothers Grimm. (...)


Voice of the Spirit - Franz Kafka's “Diaries” with Axel Grube as the speaker are a pleasure

H. Müller in the Thuringian General

(...) But how do you read such a thing? Axel Grube, resourceful audio book author, publisher and speaker rolled into one, knows it. The diaries published by Grub's publisher "onomato", excerpts from issue 5-12 (1912-1923) are a real pleasure for the mind and ear, not least thanks to the inimitably clear and deeply melancholy voice of Grube. Also an eye-catcher: the cover by onomato. People like to give it away - and then prefer to keep it for themselves.

Frog prince for big ears

The literary world / audio books

What is right for the bibliophile book should not be denied to the audio book. After all, the binding is to one person what the (CD) case is to the other. So let's talk about packaging first. Well, what does packaging mean? Actually, you would have to say a box to this thing in order to appreciate its preciousness. On the lid a motif from Bosch's “Garden of Earthly Delights”. Everything in earthy colors. A white cotton ribbon and a winding mechanism to close it. When opening the jewelry box, another amazement, because it presents the old silver shimmering disc bedded on dark red velvet. “Children's and house fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm” reveals the simple inscription, “Specher - Axel Grube”.
With his Onomato audiobooks, he is not aiming at an audience who, in this medium, has the possibility of? Secondary use of time? sees, who wants to throw in a cultural program while ironing, but rather to those who are ready to “engage in contemplative leisure for an exclusive listening experience”.

Listening is indeed a cultural technique that is much older than reading. It was only with the mass distribution of writing that it lost its status. In many places people have long been thinking about the problem of not being able to hear, setting up listening clubs in elementary schools and organizing symposia on the subject of hearing, which has fallen behind due to the overemphasis on the visual. Even if the social forms of the “oral tradition” can hardly be revived, Onomato wants to tie in with this form of tradition.

In the case of fairy tales, the onomato concept is particularly suitable because of the original form of its tradition, and even the first words of the fairy tale about the “frog prince” make you hear: “In the old days, when wishing still helped ...” begins Speaker with a restrained voice, opposes common fairy tale presentation methods and evokes the idea of ​​old storytelling traditions. A sense of distant times is evoked and the essence of ancient stories is touched. The speaker has only one role: he is the narrator. A lively, passionate one, to be sure, to whom the experience of the fairy tale characters does not leave indifferent, but who does not attempt to speak with their voices. So they stay what they are: fairy-tale characters, unique and extreme, are never individual heroes, but rather bearers of fairy-tale qualities, whether as a king's daughter or swineherd, good or bad mother, good or nasty child. The narrator lets the images in our heads deliver the fairy tales with their imagery: “White as snow, red as blood, black as ebony”, Snow White emerges in the mind's eye of the listener without adding much.

Eleven classic Grimm fairy tales are awakened to a life of those childish hearing visions of these “great dreams of peoples who represent our own moods, feelings and conflicts and answer them in some way”, as Grube quotes the depth psychological interpretation of Eugen Drewermann. “Every child perceives them unconsciously,” he continues, “because they still unconsciously live in these ideas themselves.” Anyone who lets the fairy tales of Grube tell them with children makes the observation that they are just as entranced as the grown-up listeners of fairy tales. The Mickey Mouse may not do them as much as we always fear.

by Monika Klutzny

In velvet and linen: attractively packaged audiobook productions determine the offer this autumn

The world, literature & books

(...) Most beautifully, however, the lone fighters put their hands on hearing, because only they can do without ready-made goods. Axel Grube from Düsseldorf is the producer of Edition Onomato. Boxes with velvet for the CD, thread binding for the cover - everything is handmade. For example, a CD appears with letters and texts from Rilke's work: “The great instructions for use of God” (1 CD, 60 min., 39,80 marks / 20,35 euros).
Religion meets sexuality: passages from Rilke's work in which deep religiosity and a feeling for the secular currents of the 20th century meet. Grube reads these passages very cautiously and without trumpeting the language into a cliché. (...)
Thomas Kruger

Philosophy acoustic / Nietzsche recordings for different expectations

Book culture / Rainer Scheer

(...) The possibility of not only experiencing the purely practical side of Nietzsche is offered by "Ecce Homo" in the series of extraordinary Onomato audio books. These CDs (...) also meet high aesthetic expectations. For “Ecce Homo”, publisher and spokesman Axel Grube cleverly juxtaposed various excerpts from his work in the form of texts and letters. In terms of size alone, there is hardly a biography, but this successful form removes the often observed isolation of the work-text and places it in a biographical context. The excellent recording, accompanied by music and a convincing Franz-Josef Birk on the piano, stirs up anticipation for further Nietzsche publications that will follow onomato (...). An extensive Nietzsche edition is planned, which will certainly also introduce the philosopher in this appealing form to those who have hitherto been rather sketical about this topic.

More and more audio books want to be received

IThuringia on Sunday, modern life

More and more audio books want to be received - only: Where and how do you find the framework to actually follow Kafka, Grass or Thomas Harris with due attention
(...) And those who take the time for the portraits of Nietzsche or Dostoevsky work compiled by Axel Grube, founder, owner and sole spokesman of the small but fine Onomato publishing house, have part in a probably individual, but precisely because of this, interesting and original view of the Mind.
Hanno Mueller

So, said the packaging / audio book of the month for March, with a ribbon: “Ecce Homo”

FAZ, features section

The small samples from Nietzsche's works and letters brought to light by Axel Grube were chosen by the majority of the judges on the best list of the Hessischer Rundfunk and Börsenverein as the audio book of the month for March. Is there something wrong with that?
Well, the CD with a running time of over an hour is held in an elegant matt white and, like a medal, lies on a black velvet bed. Matt white on black: classy. The CD and the velvet bed are packed in a gray hard cardboard box, the lid of which can only be opened and closed with a white string: You have to unwind it from a delicate flap on the side of the box - or after closing it, wrap it around the flap again. Apart.
The inside of the lid is decorated with a table of contents from “Where is God” (1) to “from: The Antichrist” (17). The outside of the lid shows a photo of the philosopher and a woman who protectively clasps the elbow of her right arm while keeping her rather cold gaze fixed on the camera. It is a famous photo that depicts the mad Nietzsche at the beginning of the nineties of the century before last, together with his mother. But the potential buyer of the audio book does not find out, not even on the outside of the bottom of the case, which otherwise at least offers some information: the recommended retail price, for example, telephone and fax numbers, Internet and e-mail addresses of the publisher. However, there is no further word about Mr Grube, who not only lends his voice to the small samples, but also took care of “production” and “equipment” - the Internet address is also silent. The outfitter, speaker and producer - a phantom? Did this phantom also choose the samples - and why these? Did they write the table of contents, which only roughly corresponds to the actual contents of the CD, that is to say very incompletely? Did the Phantom give this Höbuch the title “Ecce Homo”, thereby misleadingly suggesting that the person listening was Nietzsche's autobiography from 1888 - or at least excerpts from it? The outside of the box tries to answer at least the last question with a stunningly laconic sentence: "The title of the audio book is to be taken literally." This is exactly what he is not.

Because, apart from the “Antichrist”, without citing the source, from many a Nietzsche book, perhaps even from “Ecce Homo”, some snacks have been selected, short passages from the notebooks and letters, moreover - and, completely suddenly. also a text by Nietzsche's nephew. The dead God, the bitter mother, the terrible Christianity, the beloved and despised Lou Andreas-Salomé, the dark loneliness, the great cultural crime: The CD makes these obsessions of the philosopher audible just as by chance as some of Nietzsche's supertopes - Dionysus, Superman, will to power, revaluation of values ​​- leaves aside. On the outside of the bottom of the box one can see the programmatic statement that one “wants to depict Nietzsche's 'thought poetry' in close connection with his life, his person.” The result is a non-binding potpourri: an audio book that is not exactly useful for Nietzsche newbies and those curious about Nietzsche. But the goods are pretty to look at.

Jochen hits

Ecce Homo to hear

Frankfurter Rundschau magazine

Motorway to the south, the windows cranked down, the stereo system turned up and - Nietzsche put in the mobile CD player, what else? “Ghost! What is my mind! What is knowledge to me! I value nothing but drives! " What a motto for the vacation. However, Axel Grube's approach to the philosopher is hardly suitable for accompanying people while driving fast; the audio book demands too much attention for that. Naturally, because after a cultural radio-compatible introduction with diary notes and letters, there are several reconsiderations from Friedrich Nietzsche's large-caliber thought poetry. In addition “Proverbs and Interludes”: Aphorisms. But also human insights into the everyday and love life of the madman. An all-round sensual experience - with an unobtrusive reading voice, beautiful furnishings and three kinds of underlay music. Academics: Hands off, there are no footnotes and only vague references.

Nietzsche for beginners. Ecce Homo!

The World

Nice, as it should be, he lies there on the velvet doily, the jubilee. A cautiously gold CD. A human . For real. Because the Nietzsche portrait of the Düsseldorf audio book publisher onomato, which is now known for its luxurious furnishings, proves once again what an audio book can be above all else besides the reproduction of a reading and the adaptation of a radio play: The reflection of a person in his contradictions, in the coiling of his mind, as found in his texts. And Axel Grube also reads so pointedly, so precisely, so slowly that the excerpts from works, letters and diaries don't ripple past your ear without a trace. Nietzsche for beginners. Ecce Homo!

Frau Holle and the Antichrist

Leipzig cruiser - literature

“What is understandable about language is not the word itself, but the tone, strength, modulation, tempo with which a number of words are spoken, in short the music behind the words, the passion behind this music, the person behind this passion: everything so that which cannot be written. "
What a sentence! An ideal slogan for a listening publisher that is dedicated to philosophical poetry and the experience of oral imagery, or better said: has promised. The sentence is over 100 years old and comes from Friedrich Nietzsche, who continues to inspire the former philosophy and music student and current audio book maker Axel Grube to this day. In addition to the powerful German thinker with the mustache, Kafka, Dostoevsky and Church Father Augustine are just as much a focus of his publishing work as the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. As strange as this mixture of Frau Holle and the literary Antichrist may seem at first glance, it has a system. Because what connects the aforementioned fine spirits and language experts is their sense of the magic of the narrative and their ability to think in pictures. In this respect, the name of Grube's one-man company after the neo-Latin term for "onomatopoeic word" is absolutely appropriate: Onomato.
Since the publishing house was founded in 1998, the man from Düsseldorf has been taking care of everything himself. He selects the texts, organizes the production, ensures the finest, bibliophile CD equipment made of velvet and cardboard - and, last but not least, is an excellent reader. With the experience and professionalism of 10 years of professional speaker practice, he dug a truly well-rounded affair from his audio books. When he quietly, deliberately and precisely the? Fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm? reads and transfers her characters out of the cinematic Disney straitjacket back into the vague realm of childlike dreams, then it will not only be a pleasure for Steppkes. Another pleasure is the Nietzsche CD, which provides a balanced introduction to dealing with the provocative poet philosopher. Her title “Ecce Homo” is a little misleading, however. Instead of a reading from the Nietzsche book of the same name, excerpts from various letters and works are put together in order to roughly outline the thinking and existence of the Weimar man. True to the motto: Hear what a person.

Peter Krutsch

Friedrich Nietzsche Ecce Homo

HR 2, Culture Compact

There is a certain amount of boldness in the belief that a 60-minute flying visit can do a favor to such a complex, far-reaching and contradictory mind as Friedrich Nietzsche. The publisher and spokesman Axel Grube is also taking a risk when he describes his production as an “attempt” to “portray Nietzsche's thought poetry in close connection with his life, his person.” The attempt fails, however, for this purpose it is not enough to randomly pluck Nietzsche's letters and personal notes from the tree of knowledge, his documented suffering for his sister and mother, alongside his cutting analyzes of morality, alongside his God-is-dead -Set announcements. At least the system behind this selection is not self-explanatory, and there is no relevant information or time information about the texts due to the lack of a booklet.
But in the endeavor to make philosophical texts and philosophers audible there is still another attraction - namely the sensual and aesthetic of spoken speech. And if you look at it purely from this enjoyable point of view, then the work of Grube captivates:
Original sound
What the publisher Grube lacks with care and in-depth guidance on the concerns of the audiobook user is fulfilled by the speaker, albeit on a completely different level. His class promotes the understanding of Nietzsche's literary mastery and the clarity of style practiced at the French school. To do this, Grube opens the senses. Through meticulous exploration of the linguistic subtleties in skilful accentuation and pauses, through the soft, springy rhythm of the voice guidance, which helps the musicality of this language to come into its own. In addition, there is a speaking attitude that refrains from exaggerating the power of words through dramatization. The warm charisma of Grube's voice is contrasted with instrumental insertions. Here, too, the concept is correct, because the slanting positions of the notes may indicate the gap between the advocate of the “will to live” and his increasing personal isolation.
Original sound
It is a pity that in this aesthetically pleasing work of Nietzsche's tense mind is limited to test drilling, that content and intellectual developments are not often composed as condensed as in the vain attempt to find happiness in women:
Original sound

Hessian radio / literature

The alternative
Friedrich Nietzsche: ”Ecce Homo” among other things audio books
presented by Martin Maria Schwarz

It doesn't always have to be Zarathustra. If one considers the frequency with which he expressed himself about it in letters and legacy notes, Nietzsche's favorite work was so far the only one that audio book producers dared to try. Axel Grube, publisher and spokesman in one person, was motivated by the anniversary year for an innovation that boldly bears the title of Nietzsche's philosophical autobiography “Ecce Homo”. Grube wants, as he tells his listeners on the spine of the book, “to present Nietzsche's thought poetry in close connection with his life, his person.” Therefore he works with set pieces, crosses letters and personal notes of Nietzsche with his sharp-edged moral-critical analyzes, puts his documents of a suffering to his sister and mother next to the God is dead proclamations. So it is a creative claim that this production represents. However, their value does not lie in an unexpectedly new perspective on the philosopher, pychologist, corrector, but in the vocal transmission itself:
Original sound
Melodic inventiveness, rhythmic elegance, how much importance did Nietzsche not attach to the formation of his style and how buried are these linguistic treasures when the written word remains silent. Axel Grube is a sensitive discoverer of this metrical prose, one to whom the thesis applies that a good speaker must first be a good listener. He does not rely on the attractive warmth of his voice, does not exhibit it, but in the service of the musicality of his volage. Since this works by itself, Grube does not need to overstate the force of his thoughts with dramatizations. A speaking posture that contributes a lot to the aesthetic success of this audio version.
Original sound
All these sensual advantages make it easy to get over the fact that access to the texts seems a little random, their interlocking reveals no structure and the title of the work is misleading. In any case, on the 100th anniversary of his death, Axel Grube did the service of bringing one of the greatest stylists in the German language to mind. (...)

DW - audio book tip / “Die Gnosis”

It is a risk in itself, the Düsseldorf one-man publisher Onomato, which has been in existence for around three years: Although publisher Axel Grube is concentrating on productions in a literary-acoustic growth genre, namely that of audio books.
But this with such an intellectual claim, philosophically, poetically, theologically, that it - yes what now: arouses enthusiasm in some. With those who have so far looked in vain for such “aural” art, as Axel Grube likes to call it. However, art that signals high risk in publishing profit and loss calculators.

In the meantime, oh wonder: The audio book publisher Onomato is enjoying growing attention - despite its elitist level. An incentive for further high performance: The Gnosis. Ancient Greek term for knowledge. At the same time, a new audio book title from excerpts from texts that were discovered on papyrus rolls in Nag Hammadi, Upper Egypt, after 1945. Gospel fragments of the apostles Thomas and Philip. But also Johannine so-called apocrypha: that is, narratives that have not been included in the canon of the biblical texts. Example from the Gospel of Philip:
“Some said: Mary became pregnant with the Holy Spirit. You are wrong. When has a woman ever gotten pregnant from a woman? "
Texts of Gnosis: Truths of salvation, some of which are based on oriental, pre-Christian mystery religions, which they like to interpret allegorically. The human need for redemption leads them to infer the principle of evil as the real “Lord of the world”. Against such a background, astonishing thoughts by Heinrich Heine - often labeled as an agnostic - on the history of religion and philosophy are understandable:
“Voltaire could only hurt the body of Christianity. All his jokes that he drew from church history, all his jokes about dogmatics and cult, the whole dictionary of philosophical arrows that he fired against the clergy and priesthood only hurt the mortal body of Christianity. Not its inner being. Not its deeper mind. Because Christianity is an idea. And as such, indestructible and immortal like any idea. "

Search for meaning by people who have difficulties with common denominations. From the Nag Hammadi texts on self-knowledge, which in Gnosis includes the knowledge of God.
“Without looking for God and creation and the like - search for him in yourself. And try to recognize who in you has completely appropriated everything and says: My God, my spirit, my mind, my soul, my body. And try to recognize where it comes from that one is sad without wanting to be, that one is happy, love, and hate. When you have examined this carefully, you will find it in you. "

Editor Gabriela Schaaf

DW - book tip

Review by Gerhard W. Appeltauer
Friedrich Hölderlin A fragmentary portrait

Religious Pietist - secret revolutionary - failed existence - philosopher - romantic poet prince - at the same time a precursor of expressionism in literature. All of this combined in one person: Friedrich Hölderlin, born 1770, close college friend of the philosophers Georg Friedrich Hegel and Friedrich Wilhelm Schelling; Admirer of Friedrich Schiller, who promoted him; promising theologian, but then he didn't do his mother a favor and turned down the pastor's office. To capture and reproduce his poet's words for today's ears, in that urgency that gives a sense of Hölderlin's widely spaced character traits and talents - this means a risk. The Düsseldorf audio book publisher Onomato tried it. The result is now available on almost 75 minutes long CD, released in time for Hölderlin's 200th anniversary of his death on March 25th. This sound carrier not only reflects the lyrical and epic highlights of the poet-philosopher and playwright's work, but also large parts of his biography. But that sort of thing often merges with one another. For example, Holderlin's relationship with Susette Gontard, the mother of one of his pupils. She travels with Hölderlin to Bad Driburg, from where he writes to a friend in a letter:
“It is an eternal, happy, holy friendship with a being who has really lost itself in this poor, spiritless and orderless century. My sense of beauty is now safe from interference. It is forever based on this Madonna's head. "
Susette Gontard figures as Diotima, Holderlin's muse, in poems and - in the novel “Hyperion or the Hermit in Greece”.
“I feel it was a sacred secret between me and Diotima. Oh, it is a strange mixture of bliss and sadness when it is revealed that we are forever out of our ordinary existence. "
Hölderlin's manic depressive disposition is already indicated here, which is getting worse, to the point of insanity - even if the opinion of the Tübingen psychiatrist Wilhelm Lange does allow doubts.
“An extremely important symptom, which is also shown in numerous documents by the sick Holderlin, is the catatonic disunity. Broken, incomplete sentences, now a word here, one there - without context. "
And yet the language of the person who died in 1843 in alleged confusion had an impact on the twentieth century, on his symbolism, on poets like Georg Trakl, Rainer Maria Rilke or Stefan George. Holderlin's political commitment:
“By heaven, he doesn't know what he's sinning, who wants to turn the state into a moral school. After all, that made the state hell, that man wanted to make it his heaven. "
Whoever wants to get closer to Friedrich Hölderlin today should hear him - before reading it.

Deutsche Welle - HörBuchtipp - Broadcast: March 24, 2001
Friedrich Hölderlin: A fragmentary portrait / Editing: Gabriela Schaaf 

DW audio book tip

Review by Gerhard W. Appeltauer
Friedrich Nietzsche "Ecce Homo"

How successfully “audio books” now burned on CDs continue the age-old tradition of spoken tradition can be seen - in purely commercial terms - in the annual turnover of around 150 providers in Germany alone: ​​seventy to eighty million marks, with forecast growth rates of up to twenty percent per year. But what is behind these data means a previously unimagined cultural heyday: the acoustic genus - in the direct sense of the word, genus - of wider intellectual horizons. The Düsseldorf audio book publisher Onomato is particularly involved with its bibliophile CDs embedded in cardboard and velvet. From the highlights of these intellectual and optical jewels: An audio portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche with the title “Ecce Homo.” Borrowed from his autobiographers. Onomato Verlag boss Axel Grube, all-rounder as a philosophically pre-marked music producer and professional speaker, presents an anthology of Nietzsche's works, which not least impressively conveys the stringent moral theses of the poet-philosopher, who as a deeply religious opponent of the church with his pietistic origins to the point of decay wrestled into madness in 1889.
“The word yes,“ Christianity ”is a misunderstanding. Basically there was only one Christian and he died on the cross. The gospel died on the cross. What is called the gospel from that moment on was already the opposite of what he lived: a bad message, a “dysangelium”. It is wrong to the point of nonsense when one sees the Christian's badge in a faith - for example in the belief in redemption through Christ. Only the Christian practice - a life like the one who died on the cross lived it - is Christian. Such a life is still possible today, and for certain people it is even necessary. Genuine, original Christianity will be possible at all times: not a belief, but an action. "

Completely thrilling: Friedrich Nietzsche's aphorisms.
"Maturity of the man: That means to have found the seriousness that you had as a child again, while playing."

"Even the bravest of us rarely has the courage to do what we actually know."

“Christianity gave Eros poison to drink. He didn't die of it, but it degenerated into a vice. "

On this CD, Axel Grube offers an extract from Friedrich Nietzsche's thinking compressed to almost sixty-six precious listening minutes with astonishing sensitivity. To bring to the ear the intellectually demanding means to make it audible to today's people - and to present their own ideological judgment. If the hectic of everyday life makes us stupid because we can no longer think, we should try - instead of pills - with such a sensual listening pleasure.

Editor: Gabriela Schaaf

First place in the audio book list of the Hessischer Rundfunk

Friedrich Nietzsche - Ecce Homo

Ecce Homo, the autobiographical script, is the central theme of this artistically packaged audio book, in which personal letters and notes are combined with texts from “Ecce Homo”, the “Antichrist” and the “Genealogy of Morals”. This creates a multifaceted picture of the philosopher and poet (...)
Axel Grube reads with a clear voice and a very good feeling for pauses and intonation, making difficult passages easy to understand.

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