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Back by popular demand! Adam Gopnik returns to 92Y for a trio of lectures on Dickens, Trollope and on walking in New York.
In his first two lectures, Gopnik explore the relation between the radical and liberal imaginations, with high Victorian fiction seen as a distant mirror of our own troubling time and the back and forth between the prophetic, poetic imagination (Dickens) and the pragmatic, prose imagination (Trollope) as central objects.
On Dickens, he writes: “what Dickens is really saying is: We live in a society of abundance and injustice, and those of us who are lucky enough to partake in the abundance have to use our good fortune to help the unjustly treated. Dickens also says we have to enjoy it.”
“For Trollope,” he adds, “the boat goes in only one direction, and that is toward greater equality, greater democracy—equality of fortune and circumstance. Trollope was not a radical. Yet he was unquestioningly a liberal of an ideologically rigorous kind—exactly what we mean by a ‘progressive.’”
Gopnik urges students to read as much of Dickens' Bleak House and A Christmas Carol, and as much of Trollope's Phineas Finn and Barchester Towers, as they can manage. All books are available at Bookshop.org.
For his third lecture, Gopnik answers the question, “is there a peculiarly New York addition to the meanings of walking?” He writes: “in New York, walking, even without companions, can still be an expression of companionship, of expansive connection; a happy opening out to an enlarged civic self rather than a narrowing down to a contemplative inner one; a way of scooting toward the American Over-Soul, in sneakers.”
Tue, May 4: On Dickens
Tue, May 11: On Trollope
Tue, May 25: On Walking New York
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Adam Gopnik has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1986. During his tenure at the magazine, he has written fiction, humor, book reviews, profiles, and reported pieces from abroad. He was the magazine’s art critic from 1987 to 1995 …
Adam Gopnik has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1986. During his tenure at the magazine, he has written fiction, humor, book reviews, profiles, and reported pieces from abroad. He was the magazine’s art critic from 1987 to 1995 and the Paris correspondent from 1995 to 2000. From 2000 to 2005, he wrote a journal about New York life. He is the author of Through the Children’s Gate, The Table Comes First and At the Stranger’s Gate, among others. He has won three National Magazine Awards, for essays and for criticism, and also the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. In March of 2013, Gopnik was awarded the medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.
A trio of lectures on Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope and walking New York with the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik.