The Austrian Cultural Forum (ACF) is eye-catching. The building’s zigzags penetrating and receding from the brick facades vertically paving 53rd St. Manhattan exudes a bit of swagger. This afternoon, I finally had the pleasure of exploring the tantalizingly narrow building, to listen in on the workings of the critical mind. My adventure through PEN World Voices Festival 2010 continued, but this time I heard from the critics, rather than the writers.
With momentum from the previous night’s readings from around the world, I headed to Joe’s Pub for PEN World Voices Festival’s “An Around the World Reading.” Maybe it should have been titled, “Across the Pond and Back, and Bring the Aussie” since most of the writers hailed from the U.S. and Europe. Does Australian Christos Tsiolkas get the prize for the longest trip to PEN WVF?
Let us not forget those writers whose voices are silenced because they live under repressive regimes or are in prison for their writings. I say this up front, because Salman Rushdie made the same statement up front last night at PEN’s “Readings from Around the World” at the 92Y on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. As if to drive the point home, an empty chair graced the stage, in honor of those writers whose voices go unheard around the globe. An empty chair will be present at all PEN World Voices Festival events this year.
The bones of New York City were drenched. The neon lights of the WNYC Jerome L. Greene Performance Space beckoned. The PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature had begun.
Ran into a video made by Electric Literature this week and I have to say, its more than interesting. If you ever imagined what it would be like to see your favorite literary passages animated, and antimated "literally," this is something you'll probably dig. Watch below for their latest installement and check out the others on their youtube site.