Please activate JavaScript!
Please install Adobe Flash Player, click here for download

uni'alumni 2016

José F. A. Oliver was born and raised in the small town of Hausach in the Black Forest, but that’s not where his parents came from. The family of guest workers from the southern Spanish region of Andalusia had to endure the “scrutinizing look of the locals.” Oliver was forced from an early age to grapple with the question of what his home was. This exploration of his own identity, combined with a love of language, is what made Oliver into a poet. Linguistically speaking, he grew up between Andalu- sian Spanish and Alemannic German. As a result, the reader can feel how he care- fully weighs and considers each and every word. In the following passage from one of this poems, for instance, the speaker describes how he literally writes himself into the word of a poem – and the word is in turn written into him: „ein gedicht entsteht dort, wo ein Ich im W:ort & baren sich fortschreibt. Ich schreibe mich ins WORT und umgekehrt.“ “This parallel perception of two languages allows me to continually experience things and the relations between them from different perspectives,” writes Oliver. For example, each year he experiences the Hausach carnival simultaneously from the perspective of a participant and from the perspective of a chronicler: He founded the local carnival newspaper De Wunderfitz and has written two books on the carnival. Martin Jost At Home in Language BETWEEN THE LINES: JOSÉ F. A. OLIVER José F. A. Oliver was born in the Black Forest town of Hausach in 1961. He studied Romance studies, German studies, and philosophy at the University of Freiburg. Today he lives and works as a freelance writer in Hausach. Oliver writes poems, short prose, and essays. In 2002 he was a guest professor at the Massa- chusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA, and in 2007 he took over the Chamisso Lectureship in Poetics at the Technical University of Dresden. He has received many awards for his writing, most recently the 2015 Basel Poetry Prize. Photo: private From Atheist to Saint HISTORICAL GREATS: EDITH STEIN Edith Stein is quite literally a modern saint. She was beatified (1987) and can- onized (1998) by Pope John Paul II under her religious name Teresia Benedicta of the Cross. Stein was born into an Orthodox Jewish family in Breslau – then located in the Kingdom of Prussia, today part of Poland – on 12 Octo- ber 1891. She rebelled against her family’s Jewish faith as a youth and began calling herself an atheist. After earning her PhD in philoso- phy, she discovered Catholicism and had herself baptized. Student of Husserl Stein began studying psych- ology, philosophy, history, and German studies in her hometown of Breslau. Edmund Husserl agreed to supervise her doctoral disserta- tion in Göttingen. She followed him to Freiburg in 1916. Her habilita- tion thesis was rejected four times. No university wanted to appoint a woman to a professorship – not to speak of the fact that she was from a Jewish family. The Catholic faith was a discovery for Stein. While working as a teacher at nuns’ schools, she became interested in becom- ing a nun herself. She took this step in October 1933. At this point she was already on the Nazis’ radar, among other things because she had appealed to the pope in a letter in April 1933 to take a stance against fascism. Stein fled to the Dutch town of Echt. The Nazis began arresting converted Jews in 1942, and this time she failed to escape. She was deported and murdered at the Auschwitz II–Birkenau concentra- tion camp on 9 August. With a Cross and a Torah Scroll Many monuments have been erected to honor Edith Stein. Her statue in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican carries a cross and a torah scroll. The painter and sculptor Hans-Günther van Look immortal- ized her on a window in the Freiburg Cathedral. Martin Jost A window of roughly four square meters in size in the Freiburg Cathedral depicts Edith Stein as a nun. Photo: Renate Deckers-Matzko 15