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Bookforum: Political Engagement


When: Friday, May 2
Where: Elebash Recital Hall, CUNY Graduate Center: 365 5th Ave.
What time: 1:30–3 p.m.

With Asli Erdogan, Nuruddin Farah, and Elias Khoury; moderated by Albert Mobilio

Free and open to the public. No reservations.

Cosponsored by Bookforum and the Martin E. Segal Theater Center, The Graduate Center, CUNY

To paraphrase Ezra Pound, whose own political views led to his indictment for treason, literature is news that stays news. Is contemporary fiction that kind of news? Indeed, what novels were ever pointedly relevant to public and political life? And how does such relevance jibe with Orwell’s notion that an “atmosphere of orthodoxy is always . . . completely ruinous to the novel, the most anarchical of all forms of literature”? Is every novel by definition a social critique? Can we (and should we) ever separate an author’s politics from their aesthetic achievement?

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