Posts Tagged ‘2012: Yet Another World’

 

From the Curt Richter Studios, 2012 Edition

07/02/2012  by Arlo Haskell  3 Comments
 

Curt Richter’s extraordinary series of portraits of writers continues with new work developed during the seminar earlier this year. The Helsinki-based American is a former Guggenheim fellow and author of the touring collection “A Portrait of Southern Writers.” His photographs hang in major museums around the world, including London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, Paris’s Bibliotheque Nationale, and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Richter will return to Key West in January 2013 for our 31st annual seminar, “Writers on Writers,” and for an exhibition of his work at Lucky Street Gallery.

Gary Shteyngart. Photo by Curt Richter.

Gary Shteyngart

William Gibson. Photo by Curt Richter.

William Gibson

Dexter Palmer. Photo by Curt Richter.

Dexter Palmer

Rivka Galchen. Photo by Curt Richter.

Rivka Galchen

China Miéville. Photo by Curt Richter.

China Miéville


(more…)

Another look at “Yet Another World”

02/03/2012  by Arlo Haskell  Comment on this Post
 

What else is there to say? “Yet Another World” was one heck of a ride. As we move into the balmy days of February (warmest winter here in years), we pause to take a last look back. Be sure to visit our audio archive, where there’s lots of aural to complement the visual.

Kudos once more to James Gleick, architect of this year’s seminar. And special thanks to photographer Nick Doll, through whose lens we have such lovely synthetic memories as these:

Dexter Palmer at the Key West Literary Seminar

Dexter Palmer, author of The Dream of Perpetual Motion, on Duval Street.


 
Margaret Atwood and Gary Shteyngart at the Key West Literary Seminar

Margaret Atwood and Gary Shteyngart in the cigar rollers' room at the San Carlos Institute.


 
William Gibson at the Key West Literary Seminar

William Gibson, author of Neuromancer, on stage for a discussion with Radiolab co-creator Robert Krulwich


 
In the audience at the 30th annual Key West Literary Seminar, "Yet Another World"

Concentration in the crowd.


 
Jennifer Egan at the Key West Literary Seminar

Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit From the Goon Squad


(more…)

Archives gain Atwood, Coupland, Gibson, Gleick, Miéville, & Oates #2

02/02/2012  by Arlo Haskell  Comment on this Post
 

Three more recordings from “Yet Another World” have now been added to our online audio archive.

Douglas Coupland and William Gibson discuss culture, technology, and the craft of writing. Communications technologies are a “global memory prosthesis,” says Gibson, and aspire to an experience in which distinctions between the “virtual” and the “real” are dissolved. “We are already the borg,” Gibson says.

British novelist China Miéville is a 3-time winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, given to the best science-fiction novel published in the U.K. In this lecture he explores genre, ‘the elephant in the room,’ argues for its embrace as a useful taxonomy, and urges writers to aspire to the ‘swagger’ of hip-hop artists Jay-Z and M.I.A.

And, in a panel discussion entitled “Why Other Worlds? (Isn’t the ‘Real’ One Enough?)” acclaimed science and technology writer James Gleick leads Year of the Flood author Margaret Atwood, Miéville, and American writer Joyce Carol Oates in a discussion of the tensions between the real and the unreal inherent in writing and reading works of fiction.

You can also subscribe to our podcast with iTunes.

Oates, Lethem, Whitehead in Audio Archive

01/26/2012  by Arlo Haskell  3 Comments
 
Yet Another World - Key West Literary Seminar

Three recordings from our 2012 seminar, “Yet Another World,” are now up in our audio archives.

Listen to Joyce Carol Oates read “San Quentin,” a short story based on her experience teaching English at San Quentin State Prison and discuss “the drama of human personality” that drives her work as a storyteller; Jonathan Lethem’s “plate-spinning act,” “The True and the Real”; and Colson Whitehead’s hilarious “Departing the Zone.”

More recordings coming soon. Subscribe to KWLS podcasts with iTunes.

After hours @ “Yet Another World”

01/17/2012  by Arlo Haskell  Comment on this Post
 

Janna Levin and George Saunders at the Key West Literary Seminar

Janna Levin and George Saunders before the menagerie


 
China Miéville and Judy Blume at the Key West Literary Seminar

Dynamic Duo: China Miéville (Embassytown) and Judy Blume (Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret.)


 
Colson Whitehead, Janna Levin, and Billy Collins at the Key West Literary Seminar

Tremendous Trio: Colson Whitehead (Zone One), Janna Levin (A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines), and two-term U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins


 
Doug Mack and Mike Cook at the Key West Literary Seminar

Mike (Cook?) and Doug Mack, ace volunteers


 
Jason Rowan and Mark Hedden at the Key West Literary Seminar

Barman extraordinaire Jason Rowan and longtime KWLS attendee Mark Hedden


  (more…)

KWLS 30 in Black and White

01/17/2012  by Arlo Haskell  Comment on this Post
 

Douglas Coupland at the Key West Literary Seminar

Douglas Coupland, author of Generation X


 
Gary Shteyngart at the Key West Literary Seminar

Gary Shteyngart.


 
Billy Collins signs books at the Key West Literary Seminar

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins signs books.


 
Jonathan Lethem and Rivka Galchen at the Key West Literary Seminar

Jonathan Lethem with Rivka Galchen: "Science and Story"


 
Volunteer Fran Ford Key West Literary Seminar

Longtime volunteer Fran Ford holds down the welcome desk.


 
Rivka Galchen at the Key West Literary Seminar

Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances


  (more…)

Fab Five

01/11/2012  by Arlo Haskell  Comment on this Post
 
James Gleick, Jonathan Lethem, Charles Yu, William Gibson, Janna Levin

James Gleick, Jonathan Lethem, Charles Yu, William Gibson, and Janna Levin in Key West for "Yet Another World," the 30th annual Key West Literary Seminar. Photo by Nick Doll.

Liftoff

01/07/2012  by Arlo Haskell  Comment on this Post
 

Photos by Nick Doll from the first 24 hours of “Yet Another World.”

Douglas Coupland and William Gibson during the John Hersey Memorial Conversation: "Why is it Always Now?"

The set for "Yet Another World," designed and built by Cayman Smith-Martin and MOMO, with furniture by Cindy Wynn.

James Gleick, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, and China Miéville in discussion. "Why Other Worlds? (Isn't the 'Real' One Enough?"

Charles Yu and Dexter Palmer: "How to Construct a Universe"

Brisk business at the bookstore, run by Books & Books.

Douglas Coupland and Michael Cunningham: "Looking for Planet X"

Launch Plus One

01/07/2012  by Arlo Haskell  Comment on this Post
 

.

Great day yesterday! Hope to get some images and more thoughtful words up later today. In the meantime, check out our Facebook page and Twitter feed for pics and conversation.

Yet Another World Underway

01/06/2012  by Arlo Haskell  Comment on this Post
 

The 30th annual Key West Literary Seminar kicked off last night with a rich and thoughtful conversation between Douglas Coupland and William Gibson. Topics discussed included the geek rapture, Japanese blue jeans, and what Coupland termed Doug’s Law: “You can have information or you can have a life. But you can’t have both.” Gibson disagreed, saying that our notion of “virtual” life as distinct from “real” life was quaint and outdated. “We already are the borg,” he said.

Follow us on Twitter @KeyWestLiterary and our small thought army of tweeps @ #yetanotherworld

Curt Richter returns w/ machine to stop Time

01/04/2012  by Arlo Haskell  Comment on this Post
 

Mission Control Panels, Space Walk of Fame Museum, Titusville, FL. From Curt Richter's "Gravitation" series.

Helsinki-based American photographer Curt Richter is attending “Yet Another World” and will continue his remarkable series of portraits of writers. Richter is a former Guggenheim Fellow and author of the National Endowment for the Arts-sponsored touring collection “A Portrait of Southern Writers.” Four of his portraits were just acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; two of these are from the body of work he’s developed working in Key West during the seminar over the past five years. This year, Richter will be working out of a studio in Duval Street’s historic Kress building.

See digital outtakes from Richter’s previous KWLS sessions here and here.

Mathematics is a kind of Poetry
a conversation with James Gleick

12/23/2011  by Arlo Haskell  Comment on this Post
 
James Gleick

photo by Phyllis Rose

James Gleick is rightly hailed as our leading chronicler of science and modern technology. He has a knack for presenting complex subjects in a clear and compelling style that drives book sales measured in millions; and for imbuing the world of science with a pitch-perfect sense of the adventure, humor, and humanity that is all too often seen as the antithesis of this realm.

Gleick’s first book, Chaos, introduced the general public to chaos theory and made the “butterfly effect” a household phrase. It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, as was his second book, Genius, a biography of the American physicist Richard Feynman. Gleick’s next project was not a book at all, but the Pipeline, a pioneering internet service provider, had all the earmarks of Gleick’s mission to make the world of complex science accessible to the layman. “I’d heard about email and other internet-type things from scientists I knew,” Gleick recalls today of the Pipeline’s inception in 1993. “But at that time there was no way for a person like me to gain access to the internet.” So, together with computer programmer Uday Ivatury, Gleick developed “something that no one had every created before: user-friendly Windows software to let novices use e-mail and chat and other internet services.”

Gleick’s newest book is the culmination of his previous work as a writer and internet innovator, and perhaps the most important book published in the past year. The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood reveals the roots of information theory and tracks the development of communications technologies that now characterize our society.

Our conversation began over email as the baseball playoffs were getting underway. It concluded before Thanksgiving, as we were putting the finishing touches on the program schedule for “Yet Another World,” the 30th annual Key West Literary Seminar, behind which Gleick is the driving creative force. Over this span, we discussed Gleick’s taste in fiction, the difference (or lack thereof) between the artist and the scientist, interconnections between humanity and technology, and the possibility of delivering lunch as an email attachment.

•••

Littoral: The Information suggests a prodigious understanding of complex mathematics and scientific theory. But I’m told you were an English major. How would you describe your math and science background?

James Gleick: I had a very strong math and science background from kindergarten through about 10th grade. Then I gave it up. It’s true that I was an English major, and I hardly took any science courses in college at all–not even Physics 101, which I have regretted a million times or so.

When we're talking about creativity-about genius, about originality-I don't know if there's any difference at all between the artist and the scientist. Ultimately, of course, the scientist is constrained by reality a little more tightly than the artist. But only a little.

L: What draws you to scientists and mathematicians?

JG: I think it’s not the scientists and mathematicians I’m drawn to, but their work: the science and math. Scientists do so much, intentionally or not, to shape how we see the world. And yet, science is a part of our culture that seems to go underreported, maybe because the subjects seem alien or forbidding. I wouldn’t say I understand complex math and science, but I appreciate it. It doesn’t seem alien to me. I’ve tried to cultivate a reporter’s skill set in getting scientists to talk about what they care deeply about.

L: I also declined to take upper-level math and science courses as a student. They didn’t seem forbidding, so much, as boring, empty of creativity. But in your hands, high mathematics seems incredibly creative, like a kind of poetry that makes its own rules as it goes along, all in the service of a more pure truth. Are there similarities in the way a great writer and a great mathematician approach their disciplines?

JG: That’s beautifully put: “high mathematics seems incredibly creative, like a kind of poetry that makes its own rules as it goes along, all in the service of a more pure truth.” That’s how it is, I think. For them, I mean. The challenge is to try to get into their heads, insofar as that’s possible. When we’re talking about creativity–about genius, about originality–I don’t know if there’s any difference at all between the artist and the scientist. Ultimately, of course, the scientist is constrained by reality a little more tightly than the artist. But only a little.

James Gleick's "The Information"

The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood. Jacket design by Peter Mendelsund.

L: What do you most like to read?

JG: I read mostly fiction, by far. What kind? I don’t know! Anything good, I’d like to say.

L: Do you write fiction yourself?

JG: I don’t. I tried, a long time ago, and discovered that I couldn’t do it. It’s too hard. I’m lacking something necessary and don’t even know what that is.

L: As program chair for this year’s Key West Literary Seminar, you had the opportunity to draw a sort of frame around contemporary fiction. What’s the common element among the writers you chose?

JG: In different ways–very different–these writers present visions of the near future. Some of them aren’t very nice visions. Of course it’s a way of writing about the present, about our potential, about ourselves: what we expect, what we fear.
    So many great writers are being drawn to this way of writing now, often adopting styles or techniques that used to be called “science fiction.” I’m not sure why, but I have some ideas. I’m hoping we’re about to find out.

L: It’s no surprise that a lot of these writers explore the possibilities of technology. What is it about technological advancement that scares people, and what do they love in it?
(more…)

©2014 Key West Literary Seminar | | Developed by: Magnetic Web Media