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Benjamin Anastas: “Literature Is This Non-Governmental Regulatory Agency”

In the first discussion of the Festival of New French Writing, author Benjamin Anastas moderated a conversation between French author Olivier Rolin and E.L. Doctorow. In the exclusive video above, GalleyCat interviewed Anastas about his own work and the future of the political novelist. In addition, Anastas recently contributed a Granta essay about his father.

During their conversation, Rolin and Doctorow agreed that politics can hamper good writing. Rolin criticized “the oppressive horizon” of colorless language used in political speeches and the media. While discussing Proletarian literature, Doctorow remarked “a lot of bad books were written in the 1930s.” Follow the continuing conversation at the #FNFW Twitter stream.

Speakers at the festival today include Bernard-Henri Levy (“American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville”), Marjane Satrapi (“The Complete Persepolis”), Chris Ware (“Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth”), and Adam Gopnik (“Paris to the Moon”).

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