Public Reading

Friedrich Hölderlin: Hyperion or the Hermit in Greece

Baltic House Festival Theatre 4 Alexandrovsky park, St. Petersburg

A reading with Jens Harzer and Julia Aug. In German and Russian. Stage arrangement for St. Petersburg by Joachim Lux

Joachim Lux on "Hyperion":

"How can we live our longing for freedom today? What possibilities do language and poetry, indeed the arts as a whole, have? These are questions of particular importance in politically difficult times. And even more so in times when the pandemic has stifled cultural and artistic life. The evening celebrates the freedom and autonomy of art. When the Thalia Theatre in Hamburg celebrated its reopening with this evening at the end of August 2020 after what seemed an impossibly long five months, there was jubilation and euphoria from a ravenous audience. A little later we closed again for almost a year. How does one live without freedom? And what can art do? More than 200 years ago, Friedrich Hölderlin, one of the greatest poets of the German language, dreamed of a new realm of freedom with the French Revolution. When these hopes were dashed, he struggled as a hermit for a future in freedom and beauty, in poetry, in love, in nature. And still broke."

Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843), born a good 250 years ago, was not granted peace. He lived, after various medical efforts to improve his mental state, isolated in a tower in Tübingen for 36 years. He was a fragile, an endangered man. Today he is considered one of the greatest poets of the German language.

The readings are organized by the Thalia Theatre Hamburg, in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe-Institut St. Petersburg as part of the 9th International Cultural Forum St. Petersburg and the cultural programme of the "Year of Germany in Russia 2020-21".