Do the Humanities Teach Us to be Free?
The Austrian Cultural Forum (11 E. 52nd St., Manhattan)
Free, RSVP required

Studies in the liberal arts are often espoused for their ability to create “free” thinkers. But to what extent do history, law, philosophy, religion, visual and performing arts, ancient and modern languages, contribute to one’s actual freedom?

Philosopher Simon Critchley, author of the acclaimed Book of Dead Philosophers, is currently exploring what tragedy can tell us about today’s politics. Wyatt Mason, a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine whose reviews and criticism earned him a National Magazine Award in 2006 for his “endless erudition and a singular, tireless focus on quality,” is the translator of the works of Arthur Rimbaud. Marielle Macé, a professor of literature with a focus on Barthes, Sartre and Proust, is the author of an essay on “aesthetics of existence,” investigating the permeability between styles of thought and lifestyles. Pierre Pachet, whose wide-ranging œuvre includes wonderful essays on his family, diaries, and sleeping and dreaming, is also the translator of Plato’s Republic.

The discussion will be preceded by a reading from Stefan Zweig’s The Royal Game by Roger Grunwald.