November’s Reading: “My Friend Herodotus” from The Gay Critic by Hubert Fichte
Wednesday November 17 2010
VIVO Media Arts [1965 Main Street], Vancouver BC
7pm Salon Free
Facilitated by Alex Muir
This text, written by Hubert Fichte, is an introduction to the Histories of Herodotus–some of the oldest written texts existing within the discipline of ‘history’ (and prose, for that matter) that have survived to the present day. Writing in the 5th century BC, Herodotus was contemporary to Sophocles and Euripedes. His ‘researches’ span roughly 80 years of history and a wide swath of peoples and cultures–as comprehensive an account of the ancient Mediterranean world as can be found. For many this text would likely also serve as an introduction to Fichte himself–an extremely well-versed and sensitive critic and novelist. This text is a small fragment from the monumental unfinished cycle of works, “A History of Sensibility”, which was meant to span 19 volumes worth of novels, interviews, articles, and criticism. Much of his criticism was orignally presented as spoken works on German radio in the 70s and 80s.
Fichte, here, concerns himself with spottings of sexuality and pathology in The Histories. He is interested in the role played by the libido in the impulse to travel–a compulsion which facilitates the collection of stories and places that makes the work of history possible. He also reads Herodotus’ language very closely–as part of a speculation on the interrelation of prose and language and music. All the while reading these histories against later incarnations such as the New York Times, Fichte is keen to highlight those tendencies to be found in the work which seem thoroughly ‘modern’ in nature–taken in by the texual teeter between “knowledge and magic.”
If you are interested in previewing this text, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a digital copy.
Co-Presented with Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society