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Confronting the Worst: Writing and Catastrophe


<p>April 16, 2005 | The New York Public Library | New York City<br />
<br />
With Svetlana Alexievich, Fran&ccedil;ois Bizot, Carolin Emcke, Philip Gourevitch, Ryszard Kapuscinski, and Elena Poniatowska; moderated by Susie Linfield<br />
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Some of the best writers of the late twentieth and the early 21st centuries have documented extremities of human suffering, including war, torture, genocide, and famine. What is the writer’s role as documentarian, scourge to conscience and action, and moral witness? How has that role been affected by changing technologies, particularly photo- and video-journalism and the Internet? A diverse group of writers who have made distinguished contributions to this literature share reflections on writing about&mdash;and on trying to grasp&mdash;some of the most extreme horrors of recent history.&nbsp; <br />
<br />
 <strong>LISTEN<br />
</strong>&bull; Part 1: Svetlana Alexievich discusses why she writes about human tragedies (17:37) <br />
&bull; Part 2: Ryszard Kapuscinski discusses writing about Africa, Asia and South America (9:33) <br />
&bull; Part 3: Elena Poniatowska reads an account of an earthquake in Mexico (11:54) <br />
&bull; Part 4: Fran&ccedil;ois Bizot discusses writing about Cambodia (13:21) <br />
&bull; Part 5: Carolin Emcke discusses why she writes about war (12:47)<br />
&bull; Part 6: Philip Gourevitch discusses writing about the aftermath of tragedy (11:59) <br />
&bull; Part 7: Panel discussion (11:47) <br />
&bull; Part 8: Q & A (8:23)<br />
<br />
>> Read excerpts from this panel in PEN America 7: World Voices</p>

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