With the death of her aunt, Maria Stepanova is left to sift through an apartment full of faded photographs, old postcards, letters, diaries, and heaps of souvenirs: a withered repository of a century of life in Russia. Carefully reassembled with calm, steady hands, these shards tell the story of how a seemingly ordinary Jewish family somehow managed to survive the myriad persecutions and repressions of the last century. Dipping into various forms – essay, fiction, memoir, travelogue and historical documents – Stepanova assembles a vast panorama of ideas and personalities and offers an entirely new and bold exploration of cultural and personal memory. In Memory of Memory will serve as the point of departure for a broader conversation about writing autobiographically, drawing on the author’s readings of Charlotte Salomon, Fleur Jaeggy, Gertrude Stein, and others.
About the speakers:
Maria Stepanova is a Russian poet, essayist and journalist. The recipient of numerous awards, including the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding and the Prix du Meilleur livre étranger, Stepanova is currently a fellow at Columbia University’s Institute for Ideas and the Imagination.
Daniel Medin is an editor and professor of comparative literature at the American University of Paris.
This event is a collaboration with AUP’s Center for Writers and Translators.
Important information: The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (the speakers 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.
This event requires advance registration.
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