Sonntag, 27.08.2017, 19:00 Uhr, Berlin, Denkerei
With the publication of Deleuze and Guattari’s essay on Kafka in 1975, Yiddish made its grand entrance on the stage of continental philosophy. In the pivotal third chapter of the book, they claimed that Kafka’s relationship to Yiddish would not only hold the key to a renewed interpretation of his entire work, but also allowed them to coin a new concept, “minor literature”.
This notion had a major impact on literary studies, especially in the United States.
While acknowledging the numerous gaps and inaccuracies of Deleuze and Guattari’s description of Yiddish (most notably criticized by Chana Kronfeld), I will attempt to historicize this debate by asking how Yiddish became an object of critical inquiry in the first place. Why did Deleuze and Guattari pick Yiddish, and how does it operate as a concept in the context of their broader philosophical oeuvre?
Formulating the hypothesis that their somewhat fanciful reinvention of Yiddish is both a necessary development of Deleuze and Guattari’s thought and the latest stage of a long history of non-Jewish appropriations and theorizations of Yiddish, I will then touch upon the possible uses and abuses of their “Yiddish” for contemporary literary scholarship.
Die Vortragssprache ist Englisch.
Zur „Sommeruniversität für Jiddische Sprache“:
Die erste Sommeruniversität für Jiddische Sprache und Literatur in Berlin findet am Osteuropa-Institut der Freien Universität Berlin zwischen dem 14. August und dem 1. September 2017 statt. Sie wird organisiert vom Haus der jiddischen Kultur – Medem-Bibliothek in Kooperation mit dem Institut für Judaistik der Freien Universität Brüssel und dem Osteuropa-Institut der Freien Universität Berlin.
Zur Person (engl.):
Raphael Koenig’s research focuses on French, German, and Yiddish avant-garde literature and visual culture, more specifically on the reception of the “art of the insane” from the early 1920s to the late 1940s. Raphael is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at Harvard University, and a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Sorbonne in Paris. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies, and a literary translator (Paul Scheerbart, Lesabéndio, Vies Parallèles, 2016).