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Artistic Fictions / Fictional Artists

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - Saturday, November 17, 2012

Printed Matter
192 Books
Instituto Cervantes

New York Public Library

All events are free and open to the public.

New York City (various locations)

The 9th annual New Literature from Europe Festival in New York focuses on the relationship between literature and the other arts, offering a unique opportunity to encounter European writers from seven countries this year, reading and discussing their work both in English and in the original languages.

Literature has been inspired by the visual at least since the epics of Homer, and the lives of artists have been the subject of the novel since the dawn of the genre in the Nineteenth Century. The 2012 New Literature from Europe Festival asks why European writers are writing about art, about artists, and about the art world today. What does this art about other arts reveal about the creative process? Why are contemporary novelists using painting or music as a link between present and past, or even as a means for conjuring the dead? What can be revealed when one art form is refracted through another art form? Are we seeing a resurgence of Surrealism in the wake of 9/11, in which the world now seems Surreal or virtualized? Has our reality become fragmented? Is there a clear line between fiction and critical thought? In the work of the authors participating in this year's festival the conclusions are both serious and satirical and range from a feminist exploration of the lives of women artists across time, to the story of a man who can't stop painting his deceased daughter, an illustrated work about a New England spirit medium at the dawn of photography, a surrealistic novel about a novel called The Bulgarian Truck, a mystery surrounding an exhibition of African art in Liverpool, and a skewering of the art market that asks whether the art world just takes itself too seriously.

Poland will be represented by writer and scholar Agnieszka Taborska, author of The Dreaming Life of Leonora de la Cruz (tr. Danusia Stok, Midmarch Arts Press, 2007). The 2012 Festival marks Poland's third appearance at this annual event. The featured book she will be presenting is her forthcoming work in Polish The Unfinished Life of Phoebe Hicks (Niedokonczone zycie Phoebe Hicks, Gdansk: slowo/obraz terytoria, 2013. Excerpts tr. Ursula Phillips for NLE 2012). These two volumes are Taborska's contemporary experiments in surrealism and a collaboration with American collage artist Selena Kimball, in which image and text join in parallel narratives. She will also be reading excerpts from her collection of flash fiction, The Whale, or Objective Chance (Wieloryb, czyli przypadek obiektywny, Wolowiec: Wydawnictwo Czarne, 2010).

Panel discussions with all authors will be moderated by distinguished Polish-American art critic and writer, Marek Bartelik, who will also read from his own work, Gentle Rain: journal of a nomadic critic (Lagodny Deszcz, Warsaw: Fundacja Twarda Sztuka, 2010).

The 2012 participants are:

Austria: Klemens Renoldner

Czech Republic: Monika Zgustova

France: Luc Lang

Germany: Marc Degens

Poland: Agnieszka Taborska

Spain: Ricardo Menéndez Salmón

Romania: Dumitru Tsepenaeg

Moderator: Marek Bartelik

The festival is organized by the New York branches of the Austrian Cultural Forum, Czech Center, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Goethe-Institut, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Polish Cultural Institute, Romanian Cultural Institute, and Instituto Cervantes, within the framework of EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture), in collaboration with the New York Public Library, Printed Matter, 192 Books, NYU Liberal Arts Department, InTranslation and Words without Borders.

Read excerpt from The Unfinished Life of Phoebe Hicks [PDF]

Read excerpt from The Whale, or Objective Chance

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More about Marek Bartelik
More about Agnieszka Taborska
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