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(Hybrid) An Ideal Presence

November 23 @ 19 h 30 min - 20 h 30 min

Join Evenings with an Author (in person and online*) to discuss

An Ideal Presence

with Eduardo Berti and Daniel Levin Becker 

Click here to RSVP for the in person event

Click here to RSVP for the online event

In 2015, the Argentinian novelist Eduardo Berti spent several weeks in a “medico-literary” residency at the University Hospital Centre in Rouen, France, observing and conversing with the staff and volunteers of its palliative care department. From that experience he created this series of lightly fictionalized testimonials from nurses, nursing aides, doctors, administrators, porters, volunteer musicians, and the other people who make the unit tick. The result is a distinctly intimate and often poignant portrait of sickness and care, and unflinching look at death through the eyes of the people who work with it every day—but also a profound reflection on what it means to be alive. An Ideal Presence was translated from French into English by Daniel Levin Becker and published by Fern books.

About the speakers:

Eduardo Berti, born in Buenos Aires in 1964, is the author of a vast body of work that includes novels, stories, music writing, and various unclassifiable books. He has translated authors such as Gustave Flaubert, Jane Austen, and Marguerite Yourcenar into Spanish, and is the editor of a Spanish edition of Henry James’s complete stories. A member of the OuLiPo since 2014, he lives in Bordeaux.

Daniel Levin Becker, born in Chicago in 1984, is the author of Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature and the translator of, among others, Georges Perec’s La Boutique Obscure. He has been a member of the OuLiPo since 2009.

*The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (Berti and Levin Becker will appear in the Reading Room), the Library will stream the conversation on Zoom for a live viewing experience. Both in-person and online attendees will be able to pose questions.

Registration required. Free and open to the public.

Click here to RSVP for the in person event

Click here to RSVP for the online event


Important: on-site information regarding COVID-19

In compliance with French regulations, a pass sanitaire is required for all visitors ages 12+. Visitors ages 6+, staff, and volunteers are required to wear masks on the premises.


November 23
19 h 30 min - 20 h 30 min
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