Ingeborg Bachmann Commemorative Symposium
Ich grenz noch an ein Wort, und an ein andres Land,
ich grenz, wie wenig auch, an alles immer mehr
I still border on a word and on another land,
I border, like little else, on everything more and more
Ingeborg Bachmann, “Böhmen liegt am Meer” (Bohemia Lies by the Sea, 1964)
October 17, 2013, marked the 40th anniversary of the Austrian author Ingeborg Bachmann’s untimely death in 1973 at the age of 47. During her lifetime, Bachmann, born in 1926, was already widely regarded as one of the most influential postwar writers in the German language. She catapulted to early fame when the leading German news magazine Der Spiegel featured her on its cover in 1954, hailing her poetry as a “stenograph of its time.” Today, the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize—among the most prestigious awards for Germanophone writers—marks Bachmann’s continued importance in the contemporary literary landscape.
Deutsches Haus is proud to bring together three distinguished Bachmann scholars, Robert Pichl, Sara Lennox, and Karl Solibakke, for an evening of discussion about Ingeborg Bachmann’s legacy. Our three speakers will thematize Bachmann’s borders: her often critical conception of Austria and its relationship to its Habsburg past; the transnationalism of her writing, including her image of America; and her intermedial explorations of the boundaries between literature and music. In each of these contexts, borderlands become topoi, sites of symbolic accretion, in Bachmann’s rich oeuvre.
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