Die Begegnung verspricht mehr,
als die Umarmung halten kann.
Sie schient… einer höheren Ordnung
der Dinge anzugehören, jener, nach
der due sterne sich bewegen und
die Gedanken einander befruchten….
The Encounter promises more than the
Embrace can contain. It appears to belong to
a higher order of things, the one in accordance
with which the stars move and thoughts
bring one another fruition….
HOFMANNSTHAL, “Die Wege und
die Begegnungen,” 1907
Jerzy Ficowski’s “A Letter to Marc Chagall,” from his collection of poems incanting the Holocaust, A Reading of Ashes, deepens in intimacy by taking the imagined form of a letter to the artist, Marc Chagall. “This poem is,” in the words of the poet, “about extermination, about war, about Jewish children condemned to death for their heritage. And the death of a child . . . this is death to an exponent unspecifiable.” Chagall responded by creating drawings in illustration of the poem for its re-publication in Paris in 1969. This four-part course, taught by Professor Danielle Freedman, unpacks this – a historical and almost fated intertextual conversation between these two artists, arising from the deep admiration they felt for one another despite having never met.
Registration required by November 5