Leopoldstadt’s own Alfred Polgar is beloved by his readers for many things. In this talk, the American philosopher Edmund Leites will pay special attention to Polgar’s usage of some of the underused resources of the German language to great success. It would be worthwhile to compare his achievement in this matter to two other great feuilletonists of the first half of the twentieth century, Alfred Kerr and Joseph Roth, not to rank them as writers, but in order to come closer to some of Polgar’s particular merits.
Of course, there is so much more to celebrate in Polgar’s feuilletons that it would be a hopeless attempt to limit oneself to pointing out only one of his powers. Some attention will therefore be paid to his uncanny ability to glide, to shift seamlessly, from one to another rhetorical style available in German speaking and writing. Before you know it, you are someplace else.
Among the many published works of Edmund Leites two might be singled out as a way of providing some sense of where the speaker is coming from: Puritanisches Gewissen und Moderne Sexualität, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main 1988, and "Meine deutschen Besucher: Über Nathan Leites," in: Reinhardt Blomert, Hans Ulrich Eßlinger, Norbert Giovannini (eds.): Heidelberger Sozial- und Staatswissenschaften: Das Institut für Sozial- und Staatswissenschaften zwischen 1918 und 1958, Metropolis, Marburg 1997.
Edmund Leites is Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate School of Queens College of the City University of New York.
Registration required: Wien Museum
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Ort: WIEN MUSEUM IM MUSA (FELDERSTRASSE 6–8, 1010 WIEN)