“…What I am making is
A place for language in my life
Which I want to be a real place
Seeing I have to put up with it
Anyhow…” (W.S. Graham)
The experience of estrangement or alienation from language is one of the tropes of modernist literature. During the evening, Phil Baber will be asking how we might overcome such alienation without resorting to spurious notions of authenticity or nationhood. In the process, he is looking at how language is conceived in the Jewish mystical tradition as well as in the work of such poets as Friedrich Hölderlin, Paul Celan, Henri Meschonnic, W.S. Graham, C.D. Wright, and Vahni Capildeo. He proposes that language is not a “prison-house” (Fredric Jameson) but a home, and that it is our task to learn to live in it.