When: Friday, February 14
Time: 4:00 PM
Where: Global and International Studies Building 1060
Speaker: Professor Andreas Gailus, University of Michigan
“Kleist and the Logic of Hybridity”
The talk explores the writings of Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) against the background of Idealist conceptions of life around 1800. I argue that while Kant and Goethe model life as a self-organizing form, Kleist highlights its divided and conflictual nature, depicting it as driving beyond form into the territory of deformation and disarticulation. Kleist’s anti-organicism manifests in a poetic practice that emphasizes both the self-interrupting power of language and the prosthetic character of human life. Whereas Kant’s and Goethe’s autopoetic models seek to reconcile art and life, Kleist’s hetero-poetics frames art as an artificially intensified model of life: art exceeds life, not by proving it with a beautiful form, but by extracting and magnifying its capacity to exceed itself, to break its own form, to become hybrid.