Eileen Myles - "Pathetic Literature" - Nate Lippens

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles will discuss Pathetic Literature. They will be joined in conversation by Nate Lippens

This event is in-person and will be held at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore. Masks are required for in-store events. 

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About the book: Eileen Myles in their bold and bracing introduction to Pathetic Literature, an exuberant collection of pieces ranging from poetry to theater to prose to something in between, all of which explore those so-called "pathetic" or sensitive feelings around which lives are built and revolutions are incited.Myles first reclaimed the word for a seminar they taught at the University of California San Diego, rescuing it from the derision into which it had slipped and restoring its original meaning of inspiring emotion or feeling, from the Ancient Greek rhetorical method pathos. Their reinvention of "pathetic" formed the bedrock for this anthology, which includes a breathtaking 106 contributors, encompassing titans of global literature like Robert Walser, Jorge Luis Borges, Rumi, and Gwendolyn Brooks, queer icons and revolutionaries like Dodie Bellamy, Samuel R. Delany, and Bob Flanagan, as well as the invigorating newness and excitement of writers on the rise, including Nicole Wallace, Precious Okoyomon, and Will Farris. Creative nonfiction by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, Jack Halberstam, and Porochista Khakpour rubs shoulders with poetry by Natalie Diaz, Victoria Chang, Lucille Clifton, and Ariana Reines, all joined by prose from Chester Himes, Djuna Barnes, Chris Kraus, and Qiu Miaojin, among so many others. The result is a matchless anthology that is as much an ongoing dialogue as an essential compendium of queer, revolutionary, joyful, and always moving literature.From confrontations with suffering, embarrassment, and disquiet, to the comforts and consolations of finding one's familiar double in a poem, Pathetic Literature is a swarming taxonomy of ways to think differently and live pathetically on a polarized and fearful planet.

About the author: Eileen Myles (they/them) came to New York from Boston in 1974 to be a poet, subsequently novelist, public talker and art journalist. A Sagittarius, their 22 books include For Now, evolution, Afterglow, I Must Be Living Twice/new & selected poems, and Chelsea Girls. In 2019 they wrote and directed an 18-minute super 8 film, The Trip, a puppet road film. See it on youtube. Eileen is the recipient of a Guggenheim, a Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers grant, 4 Lambda Book Awards, the Shelley Prize, and a poetry award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. In 2016, they received a Creative Capital grant and the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. In 2019 Myles received a poetry award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. In 2020 they got the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. They live in New York and Marfa, TX.

About the interlocutor: Nate Lippens is the author of the novel My Dead Book. His fiction has appeared in the anthologies Little BirdsResponses to Derek Jarman’s Blue, and Pathetic Literature, edited by Eileen Myles.

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-Op Bookstores
5751 S Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637