Contemporary Writers on the Classics

PEN World Voices Festival: Special Event
Thursday, May 3, 2012 at Baruch Performing Arts Center, Engelman Recital Hall, 55 Lexington Ave., New York City, from 2:30pm–4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Enjoy a free, lively panel discussion with PEN festival writers Gabriel Adamesteanu, Giannina Braschi, Ib Michael, and Laurie Sheck, moderated by John Brenkman.  In his famous essay “Why Read the Classics?” Italo Calvino writes: “The classics are books that exert a peculiar influence, both when they refuse to be eradicated from the mind and when they conceal themselves in the folds of memory, camouflaging themselves as the collective or individual unconscious.” How does this “peculiar influence” resonate for the writer? For Giannina Braschi characters like Hamlet, Zarathustra, and Segismundo mingle and debate with common folk and icons such as the Statue of Liberty in modern day New York.  The Associated Press calls Braschi’s new book UNITED STATES OF BANANA–a work of limitless imagination and a fushion of irony and fearlessness.  For the fifth consecutive year, Baruch College’s Great Works Program invites international authors to select a classic from the school’s curriculum and discuss its influence within their life and work.

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