Arne De Boever in Conversation: On Sebald and Lerner
10 Jun 2019 07:30pm - 09:00pm
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Arne De Boever in Conversation: On Sebald and Lerner

10 Jun 2019 07:30pm - 09:00pm

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| Abstract |

In spite of their differences, the works of the late German writer W.G. Sebald and the young US writer Ben Lerner are often associated with each other, for example because both authors write auto-fiction and use images in their books. In this brief talk, I want to consider the list as a stylistic feature that ties Sebald and Lerner’s works together. While lists in Sebald are easily related to his concern with memory, I will draw from Sebald’s The Emigrants to argue that they should be read as part of a sustained engagement with realism in his work as well. In Lerner too, lists appear as part of such a consideration of realism and I will close-read lists from both Lerner’s debut novel Leaving the Atocha Station and his follow-up novel 10:04 to make that case. Looking for lists in Lerner and Sebald will mean, in part, to move away from WWII as a central reference point for Sebald’s writing to consider instead the Cold War and Mutually Assured Destruction—the possibility of extinction that, in Lerner, also becomes associated with the Anthropocene — as a historical frame of reference for reading Sebald’s prose. If the list is not usually considered great reading, this talk is meant to change that perception. 

| Speakers |
::: Arne De Boever (PhD Columbia, 2009)

teaches American Studies in the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts, where he also directs the School’s MA Program in Aesthetics and Politics. He has published numerous articles on literature, film, and critical theory and is editor of Parrhesia: A Journal of Critical Philosophy. He also edits the critical theory/philosophy section of the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is a member of the boundary 2 collective and an Advisory Editor for Oxford Literary Review.

Arne’s research focuses on critical theory and the contemporary novel. While his first book States of Exception in the Contemporary Novel (Continuum, 2012) dealt with the fate of the novel in the post-9/11 era, his most recent book Narrative Care: Biopolitics and the Novel (Bloomsbury, 2013) investigates the novel’s relation to biopolitics through a study of contemporary narratives of care. He is currently at work on a new book project, tentatively titled Finance Fictions, which deals with psychosis in the contemporary American finance novel.

| Discusstant | 
::: Jeffrey Clapp 

Jeffrey Clapp is Assistant Professor and Acting Head in the Department of Literature and Cultural Studies at The Education University of Hong Kong. His research is primarily about contemporary American literature, and has appeared or is forthcoming in journals like Post45, Textual Practice, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, and College Literature.


Arne De Boever in Conversation: On Sebald and Lerner
Discussant: Jeffrey Clapp
Speakers: Arne De Boever and more
Moderator: Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

| Date & Time |
Date: 10th June, 2019 (Monday)
Time: 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

| Venue |
Kafnu Hong Kong, 2/F, Kerry Hotel, 38 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom 

The event will be inside Kafnu. Kafnu is located on the 2nd floor inside Kerry Hotel. The closest MTR is Whampoa MTR exit C2. You can also conveniently access the venue from Hong Kong Island via the North Point <--> Hung Hom Ferry which takes only 7 minutes. Schedule here: 


Cha Reading Series {} takes the online journal out into the physical world. It brings together poets, writers, translators and artists who are in some way or other affiliated with Cha. Readings will take place in various impromptu locations across the city, in public and private rooms, lecture halls, on park benches, in front of billboards, next to a window scratched by tree branches. They will read their work informally or seriously. They will discuss issues, argue, debate and exchange. We also hope to form dialogue and explore specific pertinent topics that inspire or beset the contemporary world. Suggestions for future events can be sent to 

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