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John M. Olin Library, Ginkgo Reading Room

Auerbach in Istanbul: A Reading from Die Sprache der Sonne

Matthias Goeritz, distinguished German author and Professor of Practice of Comparative Literature, will give a German-language reading of his critically acclaimed novel Die Sprache der Sonne (C.H. Beck, 2023). Die Sprache der Sonne (The Sun Language) deftly shifts perspectives between present-day Istanbul, where an American journalist looks for traces of her deceased German-Jewish grandmother, and the 1930s, when Istanbul was a haven for German-Jewish intellectuals, and intellectual theory from the profound to the outlandish abounded. The German-language reading and subsequent discussion will highlight the role Istanbul played in fostering German intellectual thought that was sidelined by the Nazi regime. Goeritz will be joined in conversation by Walter Schlect, Subject Librarian for Germanic Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature. 

This event will kick off “Theory as Event: Epistemic Cultures and Humanistic Knowledge Production in Germany Since 1968,” the twenty-sixth St. Louis Symposium on German Literature and Culture. The symposium, organized by the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures, seeks to address recent developments in the humanities in German-speaking lands in their broader social and historical frameworks, with the goal of bringing together a select group of international scholars who are interested in reconsidering the history of contemporary German thought from perspectives inspired by recent work in science studies and the history of knowledge.

Matthias Goeritz is a poet, translator, and novelist. He has written four poetry collections, four novels, and three novellas. He has received the Hamburg Literature Prize, the Mara Cassens Prize, the Robert Gernhardt Prize, and the William Gass Award.

Free and open to all, registration requested.

Die Sprache der Sonne cover