Introducing …

One of the cool things about the Seminar, as someone usually explains early on, is that we don’t do introductions. Everyone’s listed in the program and it saves a lot of time. Still, introductory remarks, even by the speakers themselves, often provide great moments. Yesterday there were two:

Nell Freudenberger read her story, “The Virgin of Esmeraldas.” She said she wished she’d paid more attention to the program and realized she was following Junot Diaz. Because her story is about a Dominican teenager growing up in the Bronx. “It’s sort of like finding yourself at the Key West Literary Seminar of 1928, and finding yourself on the program after Hemingway — and the only thing you’ve brought is your bullfight story.”

James Gleick, science writer and KWLS board member, did provide an introduction of sorts to Janna Levin (who has the world’s coolest job description: physicist/novelist) before the two embarked on a fascinating conversation about science and art, how they differ and how they don’t. Gleick told us that Levin, before writing her novel, was widely published in scientific journals and read a couple scary-sounding titles of her papers. Then he read one that was refreshingly comprehensible: “Is the Universe Infinite or Is It Just Really Big?” (She never answered that question from the stage, by the way, since the conversation took a different direction.)

One thought on “Introducing …

  1. Nan Klingener says:

    UPDATE: At a later gathering, Levin reports that the answer is “really big” though the physicists haven’t nailed it down for sure and, she promises, they’ll let us know when they do.

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