Multilingual Enlightenment Readings, plus Flashmob for Europe

Flashmob for Europe
Jonathan Hensher

Europe Relay Reading event: 4.30pm, Friday 10 November 2017, Main Hall, Taylor Institution, St Giles, Oxford. Followed by Drinks. 

All welcome!

From the sweeping vision of Voltaire to the analytical rigour of Herder, from the piquant cultural critique of Montesquieu and Cadalso to the optimistic prescience of Hugo and Hume, from the acute social observations of Caraccioli and Muratori to the gentle poetry of Iriarte … these Enlightenment explorations of what it might mean to be European have lost none of their relevance, resonance or beauty, and to this day remain a pleasure to read, and even more so to listen to and savour in their original languages!

In spring 2017, over one hundred members of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, many of them undergraduates, translated a range of texts from the European Enlightenment, tracing the development of the notion of “Europe” as a geographical, political and cultural entity – and identity – across the long eighteenth century.

This Friday, for the official launch of the book, coordinated by Catriona Seth, we are holding a marathon reading of the anthology in its original languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish and English), with the new translation providing subtitles (read the full book here).

As well as experiencing the rich sonorities of the languages in which they were first composed, you will be able to see many of the beautifully-printed original editions of these texts on display in the hall from the fabulous collections of the Taylor Institute.

All are welcome for an afternoon celebrating the multitude of approaches to Europe in the multilingual sound-scape alive in today’s Oxford. Those interested staying on for the drinks: please register here; otherwise, just drop by and join the flashmob singing the Ode to Joy in its new translation!

Watch the below video to find out more:



Where next?

Oxford Lieder Festival: languages as performance

Why Yorkshire, Cockney & New York accents aren’t out of place in Iannucci’s ‘The Death of Stalin’

Inspiring pupils: multilingual creative writing