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Weidenfeld Visiting Professor in Comparative European Literature

St Anne’s College will be hosting Javier Cercas, the Weidenfeld Visiting Professor in Comparative European Literature in Trinity Term 2015.

Javier Cercas is a novelist and essayist who is one of Europe’s most distinguished contemporary writers.   His works, which have been translated into more than twenty languages, include the acclaimed, Solados de Salamina (Soldiers of Salamis, 2001), which was made into a film by David Trueba in 2003, La Velocidad de la Luz  (The Speed of Light, 2005),  Anatomia de un Instante (The Anatomy of a Moment, 2009) and  Las Leyes de la Frontera  (Outlaws, 2012).   He has won numerous literary awards, including the Independent’s  Foreign Fiction Prize, and  Spain’s National Narrative award.   He is currently a Professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Girona, and a columnist for El Pais.  His work, which is highly politically engaged, troubles the borders of history and fiction, as it explores the Spanish civil war, or the legacies of fascism.   In this sequence of lectures, Javier Cercas will reflect on the nature of the novel as a genre, including discussions of The Anatomy of a Moment, as well as works by Vargas Llosa, Cervantes, Melville, James and Kafka.  The final lecture will address the question of whether it makes sense to talk about intellectuals nowadays.

All of the events below will be held in the Mary Ogilvie Lecture Theatre, St Anne’s College from 5.30 – 7.00 p.m. All are welcome to attend. No booking is required as seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Tuesday 12 May 2015 - The Third Truth (Part 1).  A drinks reception will follow this lecture.

Thursday 14 May 2015  - The Third Truth (Part 2)

These two lectures will cover the nature of the novel as a genre, both from a historical and theoretical point of view, and include a discussion of The Anatomy of a Moment.

Tuesday 19 May 2015 - Vargas Llosa’s Question

Reflections on Vargas Llosa’s masterpiece, The Time of the Hero, and the core of his literary, moral and political thinking.

Thursday 21 May 2015 - The Blind Spot

A discussion of novels and short stories that put irony and ambiguity in their centre and constitute a tradition of the novel, ranging from Don Quixote to Moby Dick, The Trial and The Leopard.

Tuesday 26 May 2015 - The Man Who Says No

Reflections on the public role of the  intellectual nowadays.

Thursday 4 June 2015 - In Conversation: European Literature, Politics and Historical Memory. Javier Cercas, Timothy Garton Ash, and Patrick McGuinness, chaired by Tim Gardam. A drinks reception will follow this event.