Open House celebrating the Day of German Unity on Oct. 3rd, 2019: PARALLEL/parallel

September 24, 2019
Kathleen M Smith
Masland abstract striped rug, as example of parallel lines

“PARALLEL/parallel” will be this year’s thematic focus for the 4th annual Green Library celebration of the Tag der Deutschen Einheit (Day of German Unity).

The word "parallel" is the same in both English and German.  Its many meanings include: a sense of nearness but never touching; of pointing in the same direction; of correspondence and equivalency; of being equal or contemporary... Our collections include many German-language artists’ books and literary works that have texts in multiple languages, some engaging playfully with the idea of duality and reflection, and others aiming for a more straightforward, if illusory, impression of equivalence and equality.

Yet what does it mean to be near but never intersecting, when Western readers engage with the pages of a book from left to right and top to bottom? Can we truly experience parallel texts in multiple languages as equivalents or equals? Is the parallel possible in a literary context? Does the addition of images affect and/or disrupt this dichotomy? And how do attempts to examine texts through a parallel lens influence our encounter with them?

Come to this celebration of Tag der Deutschen Einheit (Day of German Unity) from 10:00AM-1:00PM on October 3rd, 2019, in the Barchas Room in the Department of Special Collections, Green Library, to view these "parallel" texts and to explore, experiment, engage, and to share your own impressions.