Reading Group: Anna Seghers - Transit
The GSSN is launching a new online autumn season with an event staged in association with the Goethe-Institut London and Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image (BIMI). This reading group discussion of the novel Transit by Anna Seghers was originally scheduled as a prelude to a screening of Escape to Marseille by Ingemo Engström and Gerhard Theuring during the Essay Film Festival in April 2020. Following the spring 2020 COVID-19 lockdown the screening was cancelled. The Goethe-Institut has now revived the project, as a way of bridging the gap before showing the film in the cinema in the hopefully not too far distant future. Erica Carter, GSSN Chair and Professor of German and Film at King's College London, will guide readers through the session.
Completed in 1942, first published in English and in Spanish in 1944, and eventually in Germany in 1948, Anna Seghers’s Transit is one of the great classics of exile literature. Written in her own exile in Mexico throughout 1941, it brilliantly captures the agonising state of limbo amongst refugees and exiles find as they wait for governments and bureaucracies to take decisions that can save their lives. Our reading group explores some of the themes raised by Seghers' book and the cultural and historical context in which it was written.
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