Indiana University Bloomington
Arts and Sciences News at Indiana University Bloomington

The Ocean in a Thimble

A guided tour of the world of female mysticism

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Hildegard Keller, professor of Germanic Studies and Medieval Studies, presents an afternoon of time travel at the IU Cinema, Friday, December 2nd, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.   Using the new sound system at the theater, Prof. Keller will present an abbreviated film version of her audio book, The Ocean in a Thimble,  a fictitious encounter of four extraordinary  women who lived in different centuries: Hildegard von Bingen, Mechthild von Magdeburg, Hadewijch, and Etty Hillesum.  The presentation will be in German.  Admission is free and tickets are not required.

The film The Ocean in a Thimble (in German, no subtitles), was specially produced for the IU
CINEMA and exploits the theater’s sound technology. The sound track takes the form of an
abbreviated version of the audio play, Der Ozean im Fingerhut.

Production: Russell Sheaffer (Department of Communication and Culture) and Hildegard
Elisabeth Keller (Germanic Studies Department, personal website).

The audio play The Ocean in a Thimble (Der Ozean im Fingerhut) was written in 2011 by
Hildegard E. Keller, produced with a group of actors in Switzerland and enriched with music in the form of the oud played by Mahmoud Turkmani, performed for this production. The accompanying book includes essays by various authors and numerous images, including a large number from the Lilly Library of Indiana University.

Der Ozean im Fingerhut is the third volume of a trilogy with the title The Trilogy of the
Timeless (Trilogie des Zeitlosen)
and is, like the other two titles (Die Stunde des Hundes and Das Kamel und das Nadelöhr) a multimedia product consisting of a richly illustrated book to be read that also includes an audio play on CDs.

All three volumes of the trilogy were published in September 2011 (vdf‐Verlag, Zürich). They
were created in the context of a major exhibition on mysticism worldwide ("Mysticism.
Yearning for the Absolute"), which is taking place in the Museum Rietberg in Zürich from
September 23rd, 2011 to January 15th, 2012.

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