Victor Serge & the Novel of 20th Century Revolution

 Registration is closed for this event
February 11th, 2013 5:30 PM   to   7:30 PM
Co-sponsors: New York Review of Books & Haymarket Books
Victor Serge & the Novel of 20th Century Revolution
Part I: The Cycle of Revolution
Richard Greeman

On Monday, February 11, Richard Greeman will deliver thei lecture originally sceduled for Saturday, February 9, that was postponed due to the storm. The event is open to the general public as well as those planning to continue in the class.

This class will read and discuss selected works of novelist Victor Serge, a committed  witness/participant  in international revolutionary movements from Pre-WWI French anarchism, to Spanish anarcho-syndicalism, Russian Bolshevism, the anti-Stalinist Left Opposition and the socialist humanism of the 40s. As a result of his revolutionary intransigence and political honesty Serge spent more than ten years in various forms of captivity (a French penitentiary, the Stalinist gulag, various jails and concentration camps). Persecuted, slandered, frequently hungry, Serge died in poverty and obscurity in Mexican exile at a premature 57. A brilliant and lucid writer, Serge distilled his life experiences in twenty-odd books including seven novels, essays on politics and contemporary history and an unforgettable volume of Memoirs.

Classes will be seminar-type discussions designed to encourage each student to grapple with Serge’s fiction in his/her own way. We will read our way through Serge’s seven novels at the rate of one every two or three weeks, while at the same time looking at the chapters of Serge’s Memoirs that correspond to the time and setting of each novel and observing how experience (including revolutionary experience) gets transformed into art.

Richard Greeman is best known as the translator and prefacer of five of Victor Serge’s seven novels, most recently Unforgiving Years (NYRB Classics, 2008). He has also been active since the 1950s in civil rights, anti-war, anti-nuke, environmental and labor struggles in the U.S., France, Latin America, and (since 1990) Russia. Richard is a founding member of the libertarian socialist Praxis Center in Moscow  and Secretary of the Victor Serge Foundation, which supports the Victor Serge Libraries in Moscow and Kiev and underwrites translations and publication of Serge’s books in Russian and Arabic. Greeman has published literary, political and biographical studies of Serge in English, French, Russian and Spanish as well as prefaces to French editions of Serge’s books.

Sliding scale: $95-$125
Free for Brecht Forum Subscribers