Marina Zwetajewa: Über Deutschland
The title Über Deutschland (About Germany) already implies that Marina Tsvetaeva’s purpose is to ponder: It is about the over-view, about reconsidering nations in the conventional sense. Marina Tsvetaeva’s biography and work are characterised by a tremendous dramatic force. The discussion will open up aspects of its impact, reception and her image of Germany, representative of her equally artistic and European approach.
Poetry as a counterworld, as resistance—from childhood on through her myriad of texts, poet Marina Tsvetaeva created a world into which she fled, a world in which to protect herself, from which she could wield the sharp blade of the word. In the short 49 years of her life, she suffered through exile in Berlin, Prague and Paris, experienced not belonging to the changing ‘-isms’ of the avant-gardes, and threw herself voluptuously and voraciously into romantic relationships with men and women. Loss was her constant companion. She lost her mother early on, then her Russian home, friends and family in the wars and through Stalin’s furore. Born in Moscow in 1892, she grew up in an artistic home and was familiar with music, painting and literature from an early age. Her work as a writer includes poetry, stories and a legacy of intensive correspondence, for example with Rilke and Pasternak. There is something gushing in her work—for love, for nature—and at the same time a turmoil that lends her texts power, sharpness and a headstrong rhythm. Marina Tsvetaeva returned to Moscow in 1939 and was evacuated to Yelabuga (Tatar SSR) in 1941, where she, impoverished and isolated, took her own life. She devoted her entire oeuvre to the word in order to write against hatred. Tsvetaeva’s work is a great plea for art that does not adhere to borders.
Über Deutschland – filmic essay by Bernhard Sallmann
Director Bernhard Sallmann takes us back to the time of Tsvetaeva’s youth with his filmic essay “About Germany”. In 1910, as an 18-year-old, she spent enthusiastically and full of inspirations a few weeks in Dresden-Loschwitz. Nine years later, during the Russian Civil War, she put her reflections on Germany and European (dis)order before the First World War to paper with an astonishing clarity and originality of thought.
"Was lieben Sie an Deutschland?"
"Goethe und den Rhein."
"Nun, und das gegenwärtige Deutschland?"
"Wie, ohne Rücksicht a u f...
"Nicht nur ohne Rücksicht, - o h n e e s z u s e h e n!"
"Sind Sie blind?"
"Sind Sie taub?"
"Das absolute Gehör."
"Was sehen Sie denn?"
"Goethes Stirn über den Jahrtausenden."
"Was hören Sie denn?"
"Das Rauschen des Rheins über die Jahrtausende."
"Aber da reden Sie von der Vergangenheit!"
"Von der Zukunft!"
Auf eigenen Wegen, 1919, translated from Russian by Marie-Luise Bott, Suhrkamp-Verlag.
This text is the base of the film with its strict composition that results in strong impressions and leads directly into our present.
The political amplitudes in Tsvetaeva’s work are to be recovered, which along with the emotionally charged love poetry are in danger of falling into obscurity. The invited guests are Marie-Luise Bott, German and Slavic philologist, who published Tsvetaeva’s diary prose with Suhrkamp-Verlag, Yuliana Kaminskaya, lecturer in the Department of History of World Literature at St. Petersburg State University, and Richard Pietraß, editor (Poesiealbum poetry series) and translator. Tomas Bächli, pianist, who already performed the music for the film, will supplement Tsvetaeva’s artistic cosmos with pieces by Schumann and Bach. Judica Albrecht, the narrator of the film, will recite poems on this evening curated by filmmaker Helke Misselwitz.
Marina Tsvetaeva, who was broken by war and terror, who dedicated all of her work to the word, to writing against hate, speaks to us from the last century. We declare our solidarity with anyone who stands up against war, hatred and terror.
Welcome Helke Misselwitz
Reading Judica Albrecht
Music Tomas Bächli (p)
Discussion with Marie-Louise Bott, Richard Pietraß and Juliana Kaminskaja (RU), host: Thomas Irmer (editor, Theater der Zeit)
Film Über Deutschland, directed by: Bernhard Sallmann, cinematography: Reiner J. Nagel, sound: Klaus Barm, montage: Christoph Krüger, music: Tomas Bächli, with Judica Albrecht, D 2021, 80 min., DF
Production: Reiner J. Nagel (www.ostwärts-film.de)
Film talk with Bernhard Sallmann, moderation: Sebastian Markt (film critic).
© Akademie der Künste