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Poetry from Another Universe

Inaugural Lecture of Samuel Fischer Guest Professor David Hinton on December 12, 2013, at Freie Universität Berlin

№ 379/2013 from Dec 05, 2013

Ancient Chinese poetry is the topic of the inaugural lecture to be given by the poet and translator David Hinton on December 12, 2013, at Freie Universität Berlin. Hinton, a native of the United States, is the Samuel Fischer Visiting Professor at the Peter Szondi Institute for General and Comparative Literature during the 2013/2014 winter semester. He is teaching a class in English on Another Universe: Wilderness Thought in Ancient Chinese and Modern American Poetry. The inaugural lecture entitled Reading Poems from another Universe is public, and there is no charge for admission. The inaugural lecture is traditionally followed by the Christmas party of the Peter Szondi Institute.

David Hinton is one of the first English translators of four masterpieces of Chinese literature, the work of Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu, Confucius (The Analects), and Mencius. His work has won several awards, including the Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets and the PEN American Translation Prize. Recently the Guardian chose his volume of essays, Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape, published in 2012, as one of the best books of 2012. For his literary work Hinton has received numerous grants, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and several grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Besides visiting professorships in Chinese poetry and creative writing, Hinton has had research stays at Harvard and Columbia universities as well as numerous research trips to France, Taiwan, and India. Hinton lives in East Calais, Vermont.

The Samuel Fischer Visiting Professorship was set up in 1998 at the Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature, Freie Universität Berlin. It is organized jointly by the S. Fischer Verlag, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Freie Universität Berlin, and the event forum of the Georg von Holtzbrinck publishing group. International writers are invited to spend a semester at Freie Universität Berlin.

Time and Location

  • Thursday, December 12, 2013, 4 p.m.
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Silberlaube, Habelschwerdter Alle 45, Room KL 32/202, 14195 Berlin; subway station: Dahlem-Dorf or Thielplatz (U3), Bus M11, 110
  • The event is open to the public, admission is free.

Further Information

Prof. Dr. Claudia Olk, Peter Szondi Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-56418, Email: