October 25, 2018 at 4 p.m.
Robertson Gymnasium 1000A
Saint Augustine famously declared, “my weight is my love [pondus meum amor meus]. Wherever I am carried by it, it is this weight that carries me.” The prevailing Romanic conception of music sees it as seraphic and fire-like in nature, seeking to rise into the ether of pure spirit. In this talk, Robert Pogue Harrison argues for the primordiality of gravity over levitation, using music to make his case for the intrinsic heaviness of the human condition.
Robert Pogue Harrison is Rosina Pierotti Professor in Italian Literature at Stanford University. He is the author of Forests: The Shadow of Civilization (1992); The Dominion of the Dead (2005); Gardens: an Essay on the Human Condition (2008); and Juvenesecence: a Cultural History of Our Age (2014).