MRD Recommends: Dmitry Bykov in Conversation with Jonathan Brent! Isaac Babel: Life and Works!

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This event will start promptly at 6:30pm. Please keep in mind that there will be security and registration requirements for this event and plan your arrival time accordingly. We recommend purchasing tickets in advance for this event to ensure a quick and smooth entrance. 

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 Dmitry Bykov in Conversation with Jonathan Brent! Isaac Babel: Life and Works

  • Sunday, June 7, 2015, 6:30 PM
  • YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
  • Tickets $25; YIVO members $20.

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YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
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15 West 16th Street,
New York, NY 10011

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Join prominent Russian poet, writer and journalist Dmitry Bykov and Jonathan Brent, Russian scholar and the Executive Director of the YIVO Institute, for an intimate conversation about Isaac Babel’s Russian Jewish identity, his life, the myth of Babel, and his contribution to literature. 


Dmitry Bykov in Conversation with Jonathan Brent! Isaac Babel: Life and Works!

- Sunday, June 7, 2015, 6:30 PM

- YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

- Tickets $25; YIVO members $20.

Presented by YIVO, the Russian American Foundation and RTVi (Independent Russian TV Network), as part of the 13th Annual Russian Heritage Month®. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council. All event information, including featured appearances, is subject to change.


  •   About the Event:

 Of all the enigmas of 20th Century Russian Literature, Isaac Babel remains the most itchy, taunting and mind-boggling, whose work persists eternally in the minds of readers.  A bespeckled trickster, Babel observes with equal admiration both Moldavanka aristocrats with their “fleshy legs bulging in sky-blue leather boots,” as well as Red Cavalry Division Commanders, whose legs he describes as “two girls, wedged to their shoulders in riding boots.” 

It is worth noting here that when a weak man describes a strong one, the resulting prose is so interesting.  On the other hand, when a strong man like Jack London or Max Gorky writes about another strong man, the prose often falls short.  When Babel, a bookish humanist, weaves stories of gangsters and division commanders, truly great prose begins.  He illustrates how the Great History and revolutionary dreams spark fanaticism and atrocities, and how reciprocal extermination corrodes the human soul.

  • About the Participants:

Jonathan Brent is the Executive Director of The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York City. From 1991 to 2009 he was Editorial Director and Associate Director of Yale Press. He is the founder of the world acclaimed Annals of Communism series, which he established at Yale Press in 1991. Brent is the co-author of Stalin’s Last Crime: The Plot Against the Jewish Doctors, 1948-1953 (Harper-Collins, 2003) and Inside the Stalin Archives (Atlas Books, 2008). He is now working on a biography of the Soviet-Jewish writer Isaac Babel. Brent teaches history and literature at Bard College. 

Dmitry Bykov is a Russian writer, poet, and journalist. One of the most prolific contemporary Russian writers, Mr. Bykov recently gained recognition and praise for his biography on Boris Pasternak (2005). The biography earned Mr. Bykov the 2006 National Bestseller Prize (an annual Russian literary prize awarded for the best novel written in Russian) and the Big Book Award (an annual literary award for the best book of any genre written in Russian). In addition, Mr. Bykov is a popular and celebrated lecturer, lecturing to large audiences in Russia and worldwide. He also has a long career as a teacher, as both a high school teacher and a professor at MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations).

  • To Learn More:

http://yivo.org/events/index.php?tid=205&aid=1389


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