German Studies Lecture Series - Breath Piece: On Paul Celan and John Coltrane.

Tue May 7th 2024, 12:00 - 1:15pm
Event Sponsor
Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages
Building 260, Pigott Hall
450 Jane Stanford Way, Building 260, Stanford, CA 94305
Room 216

Matthew Smith (Professor of German Studies and of Theater and Performance Studies, Stanford University)

Abstract: Paul Celan and John Coltrane were artists in separate fields and cultures who almost certainly knew nothing of one another. And yet a breathturn connects them. In a series of influential performances beginning around 1960, both Coltrane and Celan expressed an exhaustion with and of musicality, an exhaustion that opened the way for a new kind of shared expression—one we may call pneumatic.