Alexis Stamatis Author of American Fugue

Event Date: 
Thursday, October 23, 2008 - 15:15

Reading in Prof. Klironomos' MGS/CW 497 class, followed by a book signing and light reception in HUM 587. Reading from American Fugue (2008) Α Greek writer, in the lowest point of his life, is offered a place at a US campus Program. In America his condition deteriorates until he "changes identities" with a dead man. Part travel narrative, part thriller, with an existential dimension at another level. American Fugue is a glimpse of US from the eyes of the Other. “Memories. From the moment he’d set foot on this continent, memories had started to play a fugue of their own in his heart. He knew, better than anybody, that memory is our own exclusive, personal literature. We can rewrite the book, denounce the first draft’s lack of maturity, never publish it. But above all, we can start writing a new one. And in his own book, the net of the chapters had gradually started stretching, and the words, the sentences, the paragraphs were now slipping through, dropping one by one into the pit of an old narrative. His literature did not have readers any more, and the only one left had gotten bored. He had grown bored going over the same pages, the same scenes again and again. He had grown tired of remembering. Memory is what is left when something has happened but has not yet come to a conclusion. But he felt that his own “something” was, at this point, getting closer and closer to the end. He was returning to himself.” (2008:298) Translated by Diane Thiel and Constantine Hadjilambrinos, the translation of this novel has won an award by the National Endowment for the Arts.