Keynote talk by Ariadne von Schirach (Berlin): Wilderness. Come into the Open, Friend, and Be Amazed
followed by Robert Menasse (Vienna) in conversation with Ariadne von Schirach
Live stream of Talk and Writer Q&A

Live stream of Talk and Writer Q&A

In her book Die psychotische Gesellschaft, which was released just before the COVID-19 lockdown, Ariadne von Schirach diagnoses that the western world is in a psychotic state in which people “neither know who they are, nor what they should be; they are therefore incapable of treating themselves and each other with awareness, esteem and in a proper way.” This is why they would only find inadequate answers to today’s huge challenges like climate change, species extinction and environmental degradation. However, Schirach makes her diagnosis not without a lingering sense of optimism and urges a poetic revolution. Accordingly, as a creative being, man can find the means to exist on the planet in a new way, as well as to coexist with nature. Her advice: “We are not starting over again. That was always ‘men’s stuff’. Nor can we go looking for a new planet. We must take what we have and we must clean it up.”
In her keynote talk, Ariadne von Schirach discusses the poetic revolution and traces various ideas about wilderness. Does wilderness mean elusion, a waste land, or is it even refreshing? Robert Menasse – who returns as a popular host for the lively opening evening in the Minoritenkirche Krems – leads the debate with the philosopher about the headline theme for the European Literature Days 2020.


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