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Matei Visniec at NLE 2016


December 7, 2016: Page to Stage, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Nuyorican Poets Café

December 8, 2016: Inventing Realities, 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Scandinavia House

December 10, 2016: Performance and Book Launch – How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm, Scandinavia House. POCKETS FULL OF BREAD by MATEI VISNIEC, with guest actors Vasile Flutur and Aaron Novak (free admission)

NYC’s Largest Literature in Translation Celebration December 7-10, 2016

The New Literature from Europe Festival, New York City’s top European literary event, returns in its 13th year to present best-selling, award-winning, and emerging authors from across the continent. The four-day festival welcomes more than 40 authors, journalists, poets and translators in events at bookstores, theatres, and special venues throughout New York City from December 7 to 10. Curated and produced by 20 Square Feet Productions, the programs feature readings, conversations, and panel discussions with European and American literary luminaries.

European festival guests include Elena Alexieva (Sofia, Bulgaria), Colin Barrett (County Mayo, Ireland), Ann Cotten (Vienna, Austria), Cristian Crusat (Málaga, Andalusia, Spain), Stefan Hertmans (Ghent, Flanders, Belgium), Susana Moreira Marques (Porto, Portugal), Immanuel Mifsud (Paola, Malta), Mihkel Mutt (Tartu, Estonia), Martí Sales (Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain), Asle Skredderberget (Oslo, Norway), Yoko Tawada (Berlin, Germany), Krisztina Tóth (Budapest, Hungary), Szczepan Twardoch (Silesia, Poland), Matei Visniec (Suceava, Romania) and Tommy Wieringa (Amsterdam, The Netherlands).

Joining the festival, alongside our guests from Europe, are best-selling and acclaimed authors, Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri, Eliot Weinberger, Deborah Eisenberg, Benjamin Nugent, and Elizabeth Flock; poets Nick Laird, Nick Flynn, and Nathanle Handal; The New Yorker’s Cressida Leyshon; the BBC’s Michael Maher; Open Letter Books’ Chad W. Post; Grove Atlantic’s Katie Raissian; New Vessel Press’ Ross Ufberg; Europa Editions’ Michael Reynolds; Executive Director of the Martin E. Segal Theatre at CUNY, Frank Hentschker; The University of Connecticut’s Peter Constantine; former chair of the PEN/Heim Translation Fund, Michael F. Moore; and, superstar translators, Ann Goldstein, Susan Bernofsky, Alta L. Price, Marjolijn de Jager, Bruna Dantas Lobato, Julia Sanches and Annemarie Mattheyse.

Partnering with international literary and translation organizations such as ALTA (The American Literary Translators Association) and PEN World Voices, the programs will address a wide range of timely issues facing society today. Festival guests explore such topics as Writing to Change Hearts and Minds, Narrative Authority, and Writing Under the Influence of Music and Art, among others. Highlights include: Salman Rushdie addressing the critical role of literature in translation; Ann Goldstein and Jhumpa Lahiri discussing the art of translation; Yoko Tawada discussing her new international best-seller, Memoirs of a Polar Bear; and, the cabaret style festival favorite Translation Slam. Most of the events are free and open to the public. For a complete and up-to-date schedule of festival guests, venues and programs, please visit:
http://newlitfromeurope.org.

Don’t miss these fascinating cross-cultural events at popular venues across the city including The Center for Fiction, The Goethe-Institut, The Nuyorican Poets Café, Scandinavia House, and Poets House.

The New Literature from Europe Festival is jointly organized by The Art Office Foundation, The Austrian Cultural Forum New York, The Balassi Institute – Hungarian Cultural Center New York, Instituto Cervantes New York, Dutch Culture USA, The Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Estonia, The General Representation of the Government of Flanders to the USA, Goethe-Institut, Literature Ireland, Arts Council Malta in NY, The National Book Council (Malta), The Royal Norwegian Consulate General, Norwegian Literature Abroad, The Polish Cultural Institute New York, The Consulate General of the Republic of Portugal, Institut Ramon Llull, and The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York.

Matéi Visniec was born in Suceava, Romania in 1956. Visniec studied philosophy at Bucharest University and became an active member of the so-called Eighties Generation, who left a clear stamp on the Romanian literature. Before 1987 Matéi Visniec had made a name for himself in Romania by his clear, lucid, bitter poetry. He began writing drama in 1977; his plays were much circulated in literary milieus but were barred from the stage. In September 1987, Visniec left Romania for France, where he was granted political asylum and started writing in French. Visniec has had many of his works staged in France, and published some twenty of his French-language plays. His plays have been staged in more than 20 countries. After the fall of Communism, Matéi Visniec has become one of Romania’s most frequently performed authors.

The work of Matéi Visniec has been presented in London by the performance “The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield in the Bosnian War”, staged at the Young Vic Theatre, in November 2000. The play received rave reviews in the British newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian. “The Story of the Panda Bears told by a Saxophonist who has a Girlfriend in Frankfurt” was performed at the Edinburgh Festival (August 2005) by Rouge28 Theatre.

Visniec’s work has been staged in the Unites States in New York, Chicago, New Jersey and Hollywood.

December 10, 2016, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm, Scandinavia House

Join us as we celebrate the launch of Matei Visniec’s, How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients and Other Plays, edited by Josefina Komporaly.

This first anthology of his dramatic work made available in English, collects seven of his most impressive and outspoken plays: How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients, Decomposed Theater, or The Human Trashcan, The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield in the Bosnian War, and Richard III Will Not Take Place, or Scenes from the Life of Meyerhold. The resulting collection is a bold and unflinching critique of politics and society.

POCKETS FULL OF BREAD by MATEI VISNIEC (in English by Flora Papastravrou)

Today’s special launch features a performance of excerpts of Visniec’s work, by acclaimed actors Vasile Flutur and Aaron Novak. Entitled, Pockets Full of Bread, the presentation is the perfect sampler of the playwright’s works, and is co-produced by Piper Theatre Productions and the Romanian Cultural Institute.
The play is a realistic drama, a satire about human nature, talking about people like you and me, sometimes cynical, sometimes shallow, witty and ridiculous, generous and coward in the same time. The play creates a sad and ludicrous universe, and its two characters "Man with stick" and "Man with hat" resemble Vladimir and Estragon from Beckett's "Waiting for Godot", experiencing an absurd revelation, engaged in a game of power and free will.

After the performance, there’ll be remarks from Dr. Frank Hentschker, Executive Director of the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at City University, New York and from the playwright himself.

Proudly co-presented by Seagull Books, Scandinavia House, and the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, CUNY.

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

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