Romania Rocks. Rock Talks: Deborah Levy Meets Magda Cârneci

Both much admired for their broad cultural passions and intense, exquisite writing on the human condition. Hosted by Rosie Goldsmith.

Monday 2 November 2020, 6:30pm, online | Livestream on RCI London’s Facebook page and recorded on YouTube channel from Tue 3 Nov

Magda Cârneci is a poet, art critic and prose writer. A cerebral poet, her work has been described as ‘open to daily life and incandescent “reality”, a trademark of Romanian poetry in the 1980s, and to programmatic and conceptual poetry on the other’ by poet and translator Claudiu Komartin.

After the Revolution of December 1989, Cârneci became actively involved in the political and cultural Romanian scene. Awarded a PhD in art history in Paris in 1997, she has taken on a series of public positions: as a visiting professor at INALCO in Paris (2001-2005) and director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Paris (2006-2010). She is the former president of PEN Romania and a member of the European Cultural Parliament.

She has written five books of poetry, several monographs and essays on art, and has contributed to many anthologies. Two of her volumes of poetry in Romanian have been translated into English: Chaosmos (Terra Incognita, 2006), A Deafening Silence (Shearsman, 2017), and others have been translated into French, German, and Dutch. Her work of experimental prose, Fem is forthcoming in 2021 with Deep Vellum in Sean Cotter’s translation. Read a poem of hers in English translation in Poetry International.

Acclaimed playwright, novelist and poet Deborah Levy is also a regular contributor of articles and reviews to newspapers and magazines. Formerly director and writer for MANACT Theatre Company, Cardiff, Deborah Levy’s plays include Pax (1984), Heresies: Eva and Moses (1985), written for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Clam (1985), The B File (1993), and Honey Baby (1995). She is also the author of a libretto adapted from Federico Garcia Lorca’s play Blood Wedding.

She is the author of three collections of short stories: Ophelia and the Great Idea (Viking Books, 1989), Pillow Talk in Europe And Other Places (Dalkey Archive Press, 2004), and Black Vodka (And Other Stories, 2013).  The latter was shortlisted for the International Frank O’Connor Award. An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell, a collection of poems (And Other Stories), was published in 1990, and she wrote the screenplay for a short film Suburban Psycho, televised by the BBC in 1998. Levy also adapted Carol Shield’s novel, Unless, and Chance Acquaintances by Colette, for BBC Radio 4.

Deborah Levy is the author of several novels: Beautiful Mutants (Viking Adult, 1989); Swallowing Geography (Jonathan Cape, 1993), The Unloved (Bloomsbury, 1994), Diary of a Steak (Book Works, 1997), Billy & Girl (Dalkey Archive Press, 1999), Swimming Home (Bloomsbury, 2011), Hot Milk (Penguin, 2016), and The Man Who Saw Everything (Penguin, 2019).  She has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times. Her next book, Real Estate, is forthcoming with Penguin in 2021.

Levy’s autobiographical essay on writing, Things I Don’t Want to Know, a response to the essay of the same title by George Orwell, was published by Notting Hill Editions in 2013 and in paperback by Penguin in 2014. She has written a sequel, The Cost of Living (Bloomsbury, 2018). Read a fragment from The Man Who saw Everything on The Guardian.

The event is part of Romania Rocks: Romanian-British Literature Festival.

Category: EventsRomania RocksRomania Rocks


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