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Book Talk: ‘To Write as if Already Dead’ with Kate Zambreno

June 14, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join author Kate Zambreno and translator Kate Briggs for a conversation around Zambreno’s recent book To Write as If Already Dead.

The book focuses on Kate Zambreno’s failed attempts to write a study of Hervé Guibert’s To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life. In this diaristic, transgressive work, the first in a cycle written in the years preceding his death, Guibert documents with speed and intensity his diagnosis and disintegration from AIDS and elegizes a character based on Michel Foucault.

The first half of the book is a novella in the mode of a detective story, searching after the mysterious disappearance of an online friendship after an intense dialogue on anonymity, names, language, and connection. The second half, a notebook documenting the doubled history of two bodies amid another historical plague, continues the meditation on friendship, solitude, time, mortality, precarity, art, and literature.

Throughout this rigorous, mischievous, thrilling not-quite study, Guibert lingers as a ghost companion. Zambreno, who has been pushing the boundaries of literary form for a decade, investigates his methods by adopting them, offering a keen sense of the energy and confessional force of Guibert’s work, an ode to his slippery, scarcely classifiable genre. The book asks, as Foucault once did, “What is an author?” Zambreno infuses this question with new urgency, exploring it through the anxieties of the internet age, the ethics of friendship, and “the facts of the body”: illness, pregnancy, and death.

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Event Contact Information:
Joelle Theubet
jmt2103@columbia.edu

Details

Date:
June 14
Time:
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Events Categories:
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Format

Online
online
New York, NY Online United States
Phone:
08008055385
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Host

Columbia University
Phone:
212-854-1754
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