The second reading features the literati’s view on their native country. In America! America! from The Bible of Dreams, Sylvia Plath describes the loss of childhood faith in the dream of a decent America. In Travels with Charley (1961), ‘New Deal’ (3) author John Steinbeck goes in search of the spirit of his land and finds it a grim encounter: with racism, his countrymen’s hopelessness, despotic officials and foreseeable ecological problems. Tom Wolfe, a representative of ‘New Journalism’ (4), writes in From Bauhaus to Our House about America’s unconscious parody of the Bauhaus style. Besides his amusement at his countrymen’s lack of taste, he also reveals a deep understanding of the background to Europe’s ‘New Architecture’ and characterises its export to America as an attempt of cultural transfer, which fails due to the different a priori conditions on each side of the Atlantic. Yet here, as in his book The Painted Word, Wolfe nevertheless identifies a ‘travesty’ of export-import between Europe and the USA.
(3) The term describes a programme of substantial state investment, launched under President Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression as a means to alleviate poverty. Artists also benefited from the New Deal programme.
(4) A term coined by Tom Wolfe to describe a new, highly subjective style of reporting, which emerged in the course of the 1960s.
All three readings take place in the Galerie Durchlauferhitzer. They were jointly initiated by ‘Sprechbuehne’, the performance platform of the department of the Art of Speech & Phonetics at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Creative director of the programme of readings is Martina Haase. The following students will read: Almuth Hattwich, Ulrike Kerrmann, Hannah Kreft, Anni Lehmann, Franziska Löhr, Stephan Meurer, Jakob Mücksch and Juliane Peterson.