On a writer and his body

Aris Fioretos is this year’s Frankfurt poetics lecturer.

The solar plexus is a complex network of radiating nerve fibers located between the stomach and the aorta that exchanges information between the brain and other organs. In older writings and scripts, part of the soul was thought to reside there. What may sound at first like an anatomy lecture from the faculty of medicine is the topic of this year’s Frankfurt Lectures on Poetics, delivered by Aris Fioretos. In the case studies he published in Atlas (German edition 2020), he measures the liminal areas between body and soul, and mixes findings from medicine at around 1900 into the story of the fictional character Nelly B. Like most of the books written by the Swedish author with Greek and Austrian roots, this latest, too, was translated into German by Paul Berf.

Aris Fioretos was born in Gothenburg in 1960 and is now one of the most versatile European intellectuals. Alongside novels including The Last Greek (German edition 2011), Nelly B’s Heart (German edition 2020) and The Thin Gods (German edition 2024), he has published essays such as The Width of a Foot (German edition 2008), and the first compendium of works by Nelly Sachs (2010/2011). He has also produced literary studies of Friedrich Hölderlin, Walter Benjamin and Paul Celan. In 2010 he became professor of aesthetics at Södertörn University near Stockholm. In addition, he has translated works by Paul Auster, Vladimir Nabokov and Jan Wagner (among others) into Swedish. Aris Fioretos has received numerous awards, including the Literaturpreis der SWR-Bestenliste (2011) and the Jeanette Schocken Preis der Stadt Bremerhaven (2017). In 2020 he was also awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Aris Fioretos will give his poetics lectures at Goethe University Frankfurt in German. The lecture series is framed by an academic workshop and a final reading in Frankfurt’s Literaturhaus.

Author: Maximilian Koch

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