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9— Language in Exile Hölderlin's The Death of Empedocles

1. Helen Fehervary, Hölderlin and the Left: The Search for a Dialectic of Art and Life (Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, 1977), 249. [BACK]

2. Hans Hurch and Stephan Settele, "Der Schatten der Beute: Gespräch mit Danièle Huillet und Jean-Marie Straub," Stadtkino Programm [Vienna] 121 (October 1987): n.p. [BACK]

3. George Steiner, Antigones (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), 299. [BACK]

4. Ibid., 300. [BACK]

5. Marc Chevrie, "Le retour d'Empédocle. J.-M. Straub et D. Huillet: Entre deux films," Cahiers du cinéma 418 (April 1989):61. [BACK]

6. Straub/Huillet issue, filmwärts 9 (1987):11. [BACK]

7. Rembert Hüser, "Stummfilm mit Sprache: Der Tod des Empedokles oder Wenn dann der Erde grün von Neuem euch erglänzt von Danièle Huillet und Jean-Marie Straub," filmwärts 9 (1987):20. Also cited, with conflicting figures, by N.M., Frankfurter Rundschau , 27 May 1988. [BACK]

8. Hüser, "Stummfilm mit Sprache," 20. [BACK]

9. Ibid., 21. [BACK]

10. Hans Hurch, "'Habt ihr die Raben gehört?' Notizen zur Arbeit am Tod des Empedokles / Dreharbeiten von Straub-Huillet," Frankfurter Rundschau , 23 December 1986. Hereafter cited as "Dreharbeiten." [BACK]

11. "Kunst gegen Verschwendung," comment during public discussion at Filmmuseum Potsdam, 21 February 1992. [BACK]

12. Wilhelm Schmid, "Im Garten am Rande des Abgrunds: Hölderlins Empedokles und der Versuch seiner Verfilmung," die tageszeitung , 6 August 1990. Schmid's descriptions are, however, inconsistent with those of Straub in filmwärts 9 (1987):11. [BACK]

13. Straub/Huillet issue, filmwärts 9 (1987):11. [BACK]

14. "Entretien avec Jean-Marie Straub et Danièle Huillet," in Der Tod des Empedokles/La mort d'Empédocle , ed. Jacques Déniel and Dominique Païni (Dunkerque: Studio 43/Paris: DOPA Films/Ecole regionale des beaux-arts, 1987), 47. This volume is cited hereafter as Dunkerque . [BACK]

15. Hüser, "Stummfilm mit Sprache," 21. [BACK]

16. "Erde, Raum und Menschen: Aus einem Gespräch mit Jean-Marie Straub über das Theater- und Filmprojekt der Antigone," Frankfurter Rundschau , 22 April 1991. [BACK]

17. Public discussion, Filmmuseum Potsdam, 21 February 1992. [BACK]

18. Carole Desbarats, "Jean-Marie Straub: Respecter le moment qui passe" [Interview], Cinéma [Paris] 423 (6 June 1988):8. [BACK]

19. Ibid., 8. [BACK]

20. Chevrie, "Le retour d'Empédocle," 61. [BACK]

21. Desbarats, "Jean-Marie Straub," 8. [BACK]

22. Chevrie, "Le retour d'Empédocle," 61. [BACK]

23. Jean-Luc Godard, Le Mépris (Contempt), 1963. [BACK]

24. See Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature , trans. Dana Polan (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986). [BACK]

25. Fehervary, Hölderlin and the Left , 11. [BACK]

26. Ibid., 27, 48. On the established leftist response to Hölderlin, see ibid., 44-48. [BACK]

27. Ibid., 192. [BACK]

28. There are striking parallels between the difficulties in the Hölderlin reception and the case of Kafka and much of the 1920s avant-garde. East and West Germany had different reasons for their cultural inhibitions, but they also failed to help each other break them down. In the East, the antidote to the aversion to avant-garde and modernist interpretations of Hölderlin, Kafka, and the arts of the 1920s was the ongoing theoretical investigation of Brecht, as a counterweight to Lukács. See, e.g., Gudrun Klatt, Vom Umgang mit der Moderne: Ästhetische Konzepte der dreißiger Jahre (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1985); Karlheinz Barck, Dieter Schlenstedt, and Wolfgang Thierse, eds., Künstlerische Avantgarde. Annäherungen an ein unabgeschlossenes Kapitel (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1979); and Dieter Schlenstedt, "Veto gegen die Trollwelt--Georg Lukács zur Kunstfeindlichkeit des Kapitalismus," Weimarer Beiträge 2 (1986): 275-286. [BACK]

29. Fehervary, Hölderlin and the Left , 187. [BACK]

30. Ibid., 187-191, 200-206. [BACK]

31. Ibid., 202, 203. [BACK]

32. Hurch and Settele, "Schatten der Beute." [BACK]

33. Fehervary, Hölderlin and the Left , 203-204. [BACK]

34. Peter Weiss, Hölderlin (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1971); see also Fehervary, Hölderlin and the Left , 206, 214. [BACK]

35. On the Frankfurt vs. Stuttgart editions of Hölderlin, see Fehervary, Hölderlin and the Left , 233-239. [BACK]

36. D. E. Sattler, Thesen zur Staatenlosigkeit (Bremen: Neue Bremer Presse, 1993). [BACK]

37. "Dreharbeiten." [BACK]

38. Eric Santer, Friedrich Hölderlin: Narrative Vigilance and the Poetic Imagination (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1986), 92-93. [BACK]

39. Ibid., 127. [BACK]

40. Ibid. [BACK]

41. Hüser, "Stummfilm mit Sprache," 22. [BACK]

42. Wolfram Schütte, "Priester, Philosoph, Volk: Straub-Huillet's Hölderlin-Film Tod des Empedokles," Frankfurter Rundschau , 7 May 1987. [BACK]

43. Fehervary, Hölderlin and the Left , 193. [BACK]

44. Ibid., 63. [BACK]

45. Ibid., 110. [BACK]

46. Helmut Krebs, "Der Tod des Empedokles," Filmfaust 60/61 (July/September 1987):51-52. [BACK]

47. Michael Klier, Porträts der Filmemacher: Jean-Marie Straub , WDR, Cologne, 1970. Film. [BACK]

48. Fehervary, Hölderlin and the Left , 1-10. [BACK]

49. "Dreharbeiten." [BACK]

50. Dominique Païni, "Straub et Cézanne ou l'insistence du regard," in Dunkerque , 19. That Hölderlin stands at a starting point for the modern sensibility is stressed by Foucault and Steiner as well: Foucault, cited in Hüser, "Stummfilm mit Sprache," 17. See also Steiner, Antigones , 67. [BACK]

51. Schmid, "Im Garten." [BACK]

52. Krebs, "Der Tod des Empedokles," 53. [BACK]

53. Jean-Marie Straub, in Cicim 22/23 (June 1988):9. [BACK]

54. Schmid, "Im Garten." [BACK]

55. Santner, Friedrich Hölderlin , 45-46. [BACK]

56. Ibid., 94. [BACK]

57. Ibid., 25, 26. [BACK]

58. Ibid., ix. [BACK]

59. Ibid., x. [BACK]

60. For a detailed description of how Straub/Huillet chose the camera position and lenses for the Act I confrontation of the same characters, see Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, "Conception d'un film," Théâtre/Public 100 (July/August 1991):67-73. [BACK]

61. The first of the two speeches is connected to a long shot of Etna taken with an 18 mm wide-angle lens; a lot of the foothills and little sky can be seen. The sides and foreground are reduced in the second shot of Etna that concludes the film, taken with a 25 mm lens. See Hüser, "Stummfilm mit Sprache," 22. [BACK]

62. Straub/Huillet chose a very dense film stock, which produced a wide range of contrast in the harsh Sicilian light. See Hüser, "Stummfilm mit Sprache," 21. [BACK]

63. Santner, Friedrich Hölderlin , 78. [BACK]

64. Ibid., 76. [BACK]

65. Both Empedocles and Antigone explore this public space, which Louis Seguin traces to the architecture of Jacobin spectacles. These gathered people "in the indivisible space of civic ardor and the transparency of hearts" but also designed the origins of the political distinction between Left and Right. See Louis Seguin, Aux Distraitement désespérés que nous sommes . . ." (Sur les films de Jean-Marie Straub et Danièle Huillet) (Toulouse: Editions Ombres, 1991), 47. [BACK]

66. Santner, Friedrich Hölderlin , 102, 146 n. 74. [BACK]

67. Ibid., 90. [BACK]

68. Alain Philippon, "Le secret derrière les arbres: La mort d'Empédocle par J.-M. Straub et D. Huillet," Cahiers du cinéma 400 (October 1987):42. [BACK]

69. Caroline Champetier, "Tournage: Trop Tôt, Trop Tard (Straub-Huillet)," Cahiers du cinéma 316 (October 1980):ix. [BACK]

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