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William Aitken: "Another Country: Fiction Writing and the Other Place"

Friday, November 15, 2013
5:00 AM
Comparative Literature, Library, 2015 Tisch


Another Country: Fiction Writing and the Other Place
Gertrude Stein felt that an artist needs two countries – the one she is from, and the one she falls in love with. I recently made  my 40th trip to Japan, and over the course of thirty years seeped into my work in a variety of ways while it steeped my mind. This informal talk will examine various ways – a number of                  them quite unusual - a different culture can influence a writer’s                  work. I work as a journalist/photojournalist, so I will also be                  presenting images of Japan, concentrating particularly on the                  Shinto religion.


Will Aitken's novels include the recently published My Life Burning in the Moonlight, Realia, A Visit Home and Terre Haut. His work has appeared in Paris Review, Threepenny Review, Globe & Mail, National Post, Brick Magazine, MacLean's and enRoute.

His non-fiction book, Luchino Visconti: "Death in Venice", an analysis of the Italian director's controversial film masterpiece, was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in November, 2011.

A writer-broadcaster in radio and television. Aitken has worked as a film and visual arts critic for the CBC, the BBC and NPR.

In collaboration with poet Anne Carson he directed Decreation, her spoken-word opera, in London, Berlin, and Montreal. Aitken also wrote the screenplay for the feature film, Rowing Through (Shochiku Studio, Tokyo). A MacLean-Hunter Fellow in Arts Journalism, Aitken has acted as guest curator at the Harvard Film Archive. He teaches cinema at Dawson College.

Sponsored by the Departments of German and Comparative Literature and the Cohn Fund in the Department of Screen Arts and Cultures.