European Studies SMLC HKU School of Modern Languages and Cultures HKU

News & Events

9 November 2016

SMLC Seminar:
Anecdotes of the Sublime

Professor Tom Lutz

Date: 9 Nov, 2016 (Wed)
Time: 4:30-6:00pm
Venue: CRT-4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

click to see poster

In The Postmodern Condition, Jean-Francois Lyotard outlined the basic argument against the "grand narrative"—always reductionist, always ideological—and in favor of the "petit recit," the little story, the grounded, local anecdote. In Tom Lutz's And the Monkey Learned Nothing and Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World, the anecdote is employed to highlight not simply the contingent nature of the traveler's knowledge, but also the interplay between estrangement and encounter in the production of the sublime.

About the speaker:
Tom Lutz is the author of And the Monkey Learned Nothing: Dispatches from a Life in Transit, Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World: Wandering the Globe from Azerbaijan to Zanzibar, Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers and Bums, Cosmopolitan Vistas, Crying: The Natural and Cultural History of Tears, American Nervousness, 1903, and over a hundred pieces in literary, general interest, and academic venues. He has taught at the University of Iowa, University of Copenhagen, Stanford University, and CalArts, and is now at University of California, Riverside. He is the founding editor-in-chief and publisher of Los Angeles Review of Books.

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