Thursday, August 13, 2020

Thursday, August 13, 2020 2:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
Another digital alert for today, August 13:
Profs & Pints Online: Literature for a Pandemic
with Joseph Luzzi
August 13, 11:00AM

Profs and Pints Online presents: “Literature for a Pandemic,” a look at essential books to take us through a troubling time, with Joseph Luzzi, professor of comparative literature at Bard College and recipient of a Yale College Teaching Prize.

“It is human to feel compassion for the suffering,” the Italian Humanist Giovanni Boccaccio wrote in the Decameron way back in 1353, as he reflected on a Black Plague that had claimed more than 20 million lives as it ravaged Europe. Boccaccio is just one of many extraordinary authors whose works resonate powerfully with us today in our Covid-19 world. Many great books from the past deal with themes will now find all too familiar—mass hysteria, false news, oversaturation by the media, leadership in crisis.

Come join Joseph Luzzi, an award-winning teacher and writer, for a look at how some of the world’s greatest literature can help us think through the challenges of “pandemic life” and even reimagine a new world after the danger passes. He’ll explore the connection between “stories” and “sickness” in acclaimed writers including Daniel Defoe, Charlotte Brontë, and Albert Camus. More broadly, he’ll discuss why we are so drawn to the dystopian as portrayed in masterpieces like George Orwell’s 1984 and Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale.

You’ll be reminded of how, even in these frightening and uncertain times, literature can be a source of sustenance and a way of reimagining the future. Along the way, Professor Luzzi also will teach you some tools and techniques to make fictional universes come to life and help you embrace your own existence.

Professor Luzzi is the author of five books, including My Two Italies, named as a New York Times Book Review editors’ choice, and In a Dark Wood: What Dante Taught Me About Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love, a Vanity Fair “Must-Read” selection that has been translated into German, Italian, and Korean. (Ticket $12. This talk will NOT remain available in recorded form.)

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