8 Dec 2014


Poetic Orientation in Modernity’s Grand Sea of Being
By Burkhardt Wolf
For centuries, perhaps since the emergence of poetry itself, Western culture has engaged in the project of “writing the sea,” or hydrography, and within this project the compass has played a fundamental role. The talk served as a brief introduction into the cultural history of the compass and showed how, ever since its first use, the compass has guided specific techniques of writing and notation and has been both poetically and epistemically productive. It argued this claim through a historical argument reaching from Dante’s reception of the Odyssey and Ripa’s Iconologia to Bacon, who considered the compass one of his age’s emblems, and to the technological thinking of Heisenberg and Heidegger.

Burkhardt Wolf teaches German literature, culture and media studies at the Humboldt University and has taught at Paderborn, Weimar, and Santa Barbara. He has worked on questions of sovereignty and governmentality, political representation and social technologies, danger and risk, violence and religion between the 17th and 20th centuries. His book publications include Die Sorge des Souveräns: Eine Diskursgeschichte des Opfers (2004) and Fortuna di mare: Literatur und Seefahrt (2013).


ICI Berlin
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ICI Berlin

In English

First published on: https://www.ici-berlin.org/events/burkhardt-wolf/
Rights: © ICI Berlin
Cite as: Burkhardt Wolf, Compasso: Poetic Orientation in Modernity’s Grand Sea of Being, lecture, ICI Berlin, 8 December 2014 <https://doi.org/10.25620/e141208>