16 August 2013

Stephan Heym readings & the Weakness of Worthiness

(In the 1920s the banqueting hall of Hamburg's Literaturhaus -- location for the Heym reading last Saturday -- was used for Ausdruckstanz - expressionistic dance. No Ausdruckstanz in evidence at the Heym reading, sadly.  This is Hans-Ludwig Boehme's awesome photo of Arila Siegert dancing in Dore Hoyer's audruckstanz cycle 'Afectos humanos', and I recognise Mr Boehme and/or his descendants as the copyright holder of this image.)

What do you get when you put three Left party members of the Bundestag in front of microphones for 80 mins. to read excerpts out the life work of one of the GDR's most famous literary dissidents, Stephan Heym, who'd be 100 this year, if he were still alive? You get a lot of earnestness, you're a bit better educated at the end of it, but you certainly don't get many funnies: ''There was no wrecks and nobody drownded, / Fact, nothing to laugh at at all.'' (Marriot Edgar)