The Three Europes: A Fortress in the Mind


Colm Tóibín


Students of the Barenboim-Said Akademie

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Lecture in English with German translation

Mieczysław Weinberg

String Trio Op. 48

Approximate running time: 1h 30m without intermission

In the annual Wasmuth Lectures, renowned authors and scholars address philosophical, political, and artistic issues of our time. This year’s speaker is Colm Tóibín, one of today’s leading Irish writers.

The Three Europes: A Fortress in the Mind

“All of us live in our towns and cities, our countries, but we also inhabit a Europe of the imagination. This is a Europe that has become like the nation once was, something to be dreamed of, something essential to our spiritual life, but something also capable of moving out of our grasp. For immigrants, Europe is merely a troublesome word or set of rules, as people seek to put down roots and find work in the richest or best-known places. Although European history in the 20th century is filled with displacement, one theory of Europe is that it is a stable place with stable cultures. The suggestion is that Europe could only be destabilized by outsiders, could have its culture diluted. We have almost no one in public life ready to argue that Europe could be enriched by immigration, that there is a deadness at the heart of our culture that requires renewal, fresh voices, rather than new barriers.”

—Colm Tóibín


In English with simultaneous German translation. Headphones will be provided. A valid photo ID (or alternatively € 20) must be presented as a security deposit.

The Wasmuth Lectures are supported by the Johannes Wasmuth Foundation, in honor of the German gallery owner, impresario, and curator who died in 1997.