Following the death of her aunt, Maria Stepanova sifts through the faded photographs, old postcards, letters, diaries, and souvenirs left in her relative’s apartment in Moscow. Reassembled with calm, steady hands, these shards gathered over the course of a hundred years tell the story of how an ordinary Russian Jewish family survived the persecutions and repressions of the last century. Playing with several forms – essay, fiction, memoir, travelogue, and historical documents – Stepanova assembles a vast panorama of ideas and personalities and offers an entirely new and bold exploration of cultural and personal memory. Drawing on the author’s readings of Charlotte Salomon, Fleur Jaeggy, Gertrude Stein, and others, In Memory of Memory will serve as the point of departure for a broader conversation about autobiographical writing.
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 the Institute for Ideas and the Imagination.
Daniel Medin is an editor and professor of comparative literature at the American University of Paris.
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 ask questions.