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The Literary Absolute

with Jean-Luc Nancy and Susanne Lüdemann

Feb 1, 2016

Workshop, 15:00-18:30
Translating Fragments

Taking up the early romanticists´ engagement with fragmentation, the workshop will put to work a selection of literary pieces and their translations in progress. Verses, passages and stanzas by Lacoue-Labarthe, Hölderlin, Lispector, Quignard, Stein and others, will be read and discussed in order to reflect on the relation between fragmentation and translation.
With Johannes Kleinbeck, translator of Das Literarisch-Absolute (Berlin/Wien 2016), Esther von der Osten, translator of several titles by Jean-Luc Nancy, Oliver Precht, translator of Pessoa.

In English, French, and German

The lectures and discussion are open to the public. However, the workshop – due to a limited number of seats - required prior registration and is now fully booked.

Lectures and Discussion, 19:30
Das Literarisch-Absolute

Fast 40 Jahre nach seiner ersten Veröffentlichung durch Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe und Jean-Luc Nancy ist das Literarisch-Absolute eine der wichtigsten Abhandlungen zur Entstehung des modernen Begriffs der Literatur in der Frühromantik geblieben. “Das Athenaeum ist unsere Geburtstätte” – schreiben die Autoren. Was aber bedeuten heute die zentralen Begriffe ihrer Rekonstruktion dieser Genealogie? Sind wir immer noch - oder auf ähnliche Weise - mit Fragmentierung, dem absoluten Roman, mit Anonymität und kollektiver Praxis beschäftigt? Leben wir weiterhin im “kritischen Zeitalter par excellence”, wie es die Autoren 1978 beschrieben haben? Ist der gegenwärtige Moment ebenfalls durch die dreifache – soziale, politische, philosophische – Krise bestimmt, der als erste die Frühromantiker ausgesetzt waren? Wenn ja, sind “Interventionen” und “Wachsamkeit” noch die angemessenen Antworten?

Almost 40 years after its original publication by Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy, The Literary Absolute remains a major study of the emergence of the modern concept of literature in Early German Romanticism. ‘The Athenaeum is our birthplace’, the authors write.What is the legacy, today, of the central terms of this reconstruction? Are we still preoccupied with fragmentation, the absolute novel, anonymity, collective practice? Do we still live in the ‘critical age par excellence’ as the authors described it in 1978? Is the present moment still marked by the threefold crisis – social, political, philosophical – first faced by the Early Romantics? And if it is, are we still convinced that ‘interventions’ and ‘vigilance’ constitute the proper response?

Auf Deutsch / In German

Jean-Luc Nancy, renowned philosopher, is a professor emeritus at the Université des Sciences humaines de Strasbourg who has held visiting positions at the FU Berlin, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, and UC Irvine. The most recent books he has published are Demande: Littérature et philosophie (2015), Banalité de Heidegger (2015), and Que faire? (2016).

Susanne Lüdemann is Professor for Modern German and Comparative Literature at LMU Munich and a psychoanalyst. She focuses on German literature from 1800 to the present, as well as cultural theory. Among her publications are: Politics of Deconstruction: A New Introduction to Jacques Derrida (Stanford UP, 2014) and(coedited with Michèle Lowrie), Exemplarity and Singularity: Thinking through Particulars in Philosophy, Literature, and Law (Routledge, 2015).

Johannes Kleinbeck is a research associate at the Institute for Comparative Literature at LMU Munich. He is a member of the DFG-funded project Philology and Psychoanalysis: At the Borders of Language and is writing a dissertation on the concept of auto-affection between Derrida, Heidegger and Aristotle. He is also one of the co-editors of the book series Neue Subjektile with the publishing house Turia & Kant as well as a translator (among other titles: Jacques Derrida, Das Problem der Genese in Husserls Philosophie, Zürich/Berlin 2013).

Esther von der Osten, Ph.D., freelance translator and lecturer, studied history, art history, and comparative literature in Berlin and Paris. From 2002 to 2011 she was a research associate at the Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature, FU Berlin. She has translated, among others, Jean-Luc Nancy, Hélène Cixous, Jacques Derrida, and Georges Didi-Huberman.

Oliver Precht earned his master’s degree in Philosophy, Romance Literature and Comparative Religious Studies from the LMU Munich and is currently writing his dissertation on the notion of philosophy in the work of Martin Heidegger. He works as a translator of scientific and literary texts – his last projects include translations from Portuguese of titles by Oswald de Andrade and Fernando Pessoa.

Time: Monday, 1 February 2016
Venue: ICI Berlin

For safety reasons, venue doors will be closed when capacity limits are reached. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Organized by Marcus Coelen and Claire Nioche-Sibony

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