Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature
Freie Universitaet Berlin
Tomer Dotan-Dreyfus graduated general and comparative literature and philosophy at the Peter-Szondi-Institute of the Freie Universität Berlin and at the Vienna University, with a thesis on the Political Secularization of the Hebrew Language. Dotan-Dreyfus then started taking courses at the department for Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought of the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, and his MA in general and comparative literature at the Peter-Szondi-Institute, where his main interests are philosophy of language, ontology and poetry in the German and French speaking world. Currently he is working as student assistant at the excellence cluster Bild Wissen Gestaltung at Humboldt University.
In the Meridian speech by Paul Celan upon receiving the Büchner Prize, he describes the movement of the poet, of poetry, towards an origin, in order to find nothing there. Phillip Lacou-Labarthe in Poetry as Experience finds this movement also in Hölderlin, who is said to have repeatedly muttered “nothing is happening to me” when going insane. The found origin is something that cannot be put in words, quite literally. The origin of poetry as the core of language is at the same time a sign and a non-sign, it is the moment of becoming a sign, of becoming a language, a logos. Using theoreticians such as Julia Kristeva, Jacques Derrida and Martin Heidegger, the research concentrates on the search for this ultimate pre-sign, characterizes and follows it.