Villa Gillet: Walls and Bridges

Public Books is co-sponsoring three events—on October 15, 17, and 18—in the 2013 Walls and Bridges festival. Presented by the Lyon-based cultural institute Villa Gillet, Walls and Bridges is a 10-day series of performances and critical explorations that brings together French and American thinkers and artists from the social sciences, philosophy, literature, and the arts.


Public Books co-presents

TAKING HISTORY PERSONALLY:
FROM PERSONAL LIVES
TO COLLECTIVE HISTORY


Tuesday, October 15 — 6:30 p.m.
New School Theresa Lang Center

55 West 13th Street
New York, New York

with mathematician and writer Michèle Audin, writer Ian Buruma, writer Cynthia Carr, and historian Ivan Jablonka

moderated by Bookforum Editor Albert Mobilio

Family history is inevitably public history, and can be key to understanding larger events. In Year Zero (2013), Ian Buruma personalizes the political upheaval of 1945 through individual accounts, including that of his father. In History of the Grandparents I Never Knew (2012), Ivan Jablonka reconstructs the lives of his Polish grandparents, who were Jewish Communists during the Nazi occupation. In her work, Michèle Audin recounts the life of her father, an anti-colonialist activist who was brutally killed during the Algerian war, and in Our Town (2007), Cynthia Carr unearths dark family secrets of her father’s hometown—Marion, Indiana. In the hands of these authors, letters, diaries, and remembrances highlight unknown individual lives and radiate outward to reveal epic social forces at work.

Public Books co-presents

THE ANIMAL VISION:
IN CONNECTION WITH THE DRAWING CENTER EXHIBIT
“ALEXIS ROCKMAN: LIFE OF PI”


Thursday, October 17 — 6:30 p.m.
The Drawing Center
35 Wooster Street
New York, New York

with philosopher and psychologist Vinciane Despret and
painter Alexis Rockman

moderated by Rice University Professor of English and writer Cary Wolfe

As part of its Fall 2013 season, the Drawing Center presents a selection of Alexis Rockman’s watercolor drawings, which served as the first stage in the development of the fantastical, imaginary world of Life of Pi, the 2012 feature film directed by Ang Lee. Rockman helped design the hallucinatory “Tigervision” sequence, in which Pi, following the tiger’s gaze over the side of the boat, plunges deep into his own oceanic subconscious, a surreal world of fabulous forms, familiar memories, and overwhelming loss. To explore some of the submerged themes of the exhibition, Alexis Rockman will speak with Vinciane Despret, a philosopher who specializes in animal study. In her latest book, Despret reveals our preconceived notions about what animals do, want, and even “think.” Rockman and Despret will discuss their mutual attempts to think with animals, and to pay homage to their vision of the world.


Public Books co-presents

FOUND IN TRANSLATION

Friday, October 18 — All-day conference
The NYU Institute for Public Knowledge
20 Cooper Square
New York, New York

hosted by Professor of Italian and director of NYU’s Humanities Initiative Jane Tylus and Professor of French and director of NYU’s Master of Arts in Literary Translations Emmanuelle Ertel

KEY NOTE (11:00–11:30 a.m.)
with translator and writer Frédéric Boyer and critical theorist and writer Avital Ronell

IN PRAISE OF BABEL:
ARGUMENTS AGAINST A SINGLE WORLD LANGUAGE
(11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.)
with translator and writer Esther Allen, poetry editor of The Paris Review and translator Robyn Creswell, and writer Camille de Toledo; hosted by translator and writer Jacques Lezra

TRANSLATION AS MUSE:
WRITERS WHO TRANSLATE (2:00–3:30 p.m.)
with translator and poet Mary Jo Bang, translator and writer Frédéric Boyer, and translator and writer Keith Gessen; hosted by Director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU Eric Banks

WORKSHOP ON TRANSLATION AND LITERARY HUB (4:00–5:30 p.m.)
with writer François Bon and writer Camille de Toledo

The events celebrate the publication of In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What It Means (2013), edited by Esther Allen and Susan Bernofsky, and accompany the launch of TLHUB (Translation and Literary Hub).