It finally happened!
Lou Andreas-Salomé was ushered into the European Academy on 09-11 February 2017: Une cosmopolite sur les chemins de traverse | Kosmopolitin auf Zwischenwegen: Lou Andreas-Salomé (1861-1937).
The first European International Conference on Lou Andreas Salomé continues the (R)evolution begun in 2012 when The Erotic was published for the first time in English with Matthew Del Nevo’s catalyzing introduction tearing free the binds of the feminist straightjacket repressing eros in art and academics for decades.
Organized by Britta Benert and Romana Weiershausen, the conference was introduced by Anthony Mangeon, a member of the bureau of I’EA 1337 and Andrea Young (above), director of l’ESPE, who declared Strasbourg as the ideal location for a woman who expressed in the realm of the in-between borders.
Scholars from various disciplines convened at the ESPE de L'academie Strasbourg to share their research and creations inspired by Lou Salomé, while struggling over a common vocabulary for in-between, reflected by the location on the French and German border.
The German scholar Irmela von der Luhe was the keynote speaker. Her full-bodied struggle articulated the need to uncover a new language for Salomé, thereby placing the American feminist denial of her importance into a critical perspective.
The conference revealed Salomé’s influence on a range of artistic disciplines — literature, theater, fine art and film.
Here are some highlights:
On Thursday evening, the group was treated to the new German film, Lou Andreas-Salomé, a brilliantly conceived and crafted narrative with true-to-life characters from Lou's autobiography written in her twilight years. The filmmaker Cordula Kablitz-Post was present for a post-screening discussion about the film’s holistic perspective that was so in keeping with Salomé.
From a critical perspective, Lou Andreas-Salomé was (r)evolutionary in the manner that it acted as a cinematic Mobius strip dramatising the untold story of inner/outer feminine liberation from patriarchal projections — not through female fantasy but the lived experience that was the (r)evolutionary trademark of Salomé.
The significance of having the first European academic conference on Salomé in Strasbourg is the celebration of the Uncertainty of the in-between. This stunning city in-between two nations is where the people apply the third language, English, to reconciling the border differences between the French and German: both languages were insufficient to interpret Salomé who necessitates a Third language — of the erotic consciousness.
Salome’s needed influence in continental literature is rapidly expanding.
Thomas Schmidt (Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach), presented projections from his curation of "Rilke and Russia" that will present the archeology of Rilke's travels with Salomé.
On Friday morning, Dutch author Joke J. Hermsen personified the erotic consciousness through her impromptu performance of the quantum leap arising out of Kairos— that magical moment in time. Joke lived up to her hermetic nomiker by exhibiting her spontaneous embodied interpretation of Salomé cutting through the binary of time: Chronos vs. Kairos.
Hermsen described her creative writing as “strikingly enough, the experience of disappearance — what do we loose when we start to live consciously in the borders of language?” She wrote her dissertation on Salomé in 1993 and then wrote several novels in her native Dutch language. Multilingual, she took on the task of utilising German constructions for the “Self” within her English expression to sum up the “double-edged” Salomé beyond the obstacles of language that handicapped the conference. Here is an excerpt from Hermsen’s paper, “Eros & Art: Time Rebels and Soulsearchers in the Works of Lou Andreas-Salomé”, which she tossed aside to create her quantum leap:
In her philosophic and psychoanalytic writings Salomé formulated a theory in which love, but also art and creativity, are to be understood as the renewing forces of human life. They both provoke what we could call a kind of crumbling down of the identity-limits, the so-called "Selbstvergessenheit" enabling the amorous or creative subject to come into a new interaction with 'the other self' (Selbstsucht). It is this practical movement--to forget oneself in order to find oneself that Eros and Art engage.... Her model of a two-stringed or double-edged character of time and subjectivity implies therefore the existence of a distance, a creative space between these two layers of our subjectivity, that is: between the facts of our identity, our race, sex, age class, culture, etc. and the unconscious story of our inner self. — Joke J. Hermsen,
Delivering her text in English, the American scholar Kristine Jennings analysis revealed Salomé's literary penetration into adolescence as a metaphor commanding the space of Uncertainty between the opposites.
The Iranian scholar Amirpasha Tavakoli presented the Nietzsche/Salomé philosophical collaboration into the crucial place of the hieros gamos balance between the masculine and feminine
The German scholar Annette Kliewer rose to her assigned role as the closing presenter, providing an essential placement of Lou Andreas Salomé literature in the academy.
The conference closed on Saturday afternoon on a positive note. The participants faced the future, after successfully creating a new dialectic around Salome.
Lou Lives! The enigmatic Austrian prize-winning author Cordula Simon revealed her Salomé influence of boundary crashing through borders, both literal and literary, via her reading from her eclectic novels at the Austrian consulate. All conference participants were invited.
The gathering at Austrian consulate in Strasbourg after the conference celebrated Salomé as heralding a contemporary literature of feminine liberation.
For more information on Salomé publications: http://medien edition
For information on the Salomé conference
All images in this posting are copyright Lisa Paul Streitfeld.
Dr. Lisa Paul Streitfeld is a Kulturindustrie theorist, art critic and Salomé scholar. After being granted a Ph.D. for “ÜBERMENSCH: Nietzsche, Salomé & the Ages of Aquarius”, Dr. Streitfeld has begun tracing the revival of Salomé to a Fourth Wave of feminism. Her paper "Beyond Schizoanalysis: How the Offspring of the Deleuzo-Guattarian Marriage Allies with Fourth Wave Feminism" has been selected in a special edition of the Deleuze Studies Journal.