• Three Rings

    by Daniel Mendelsohn
    Price $19.95
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    Three Rings

Virtual Event: Daniel Mendelsohn

presenting

Three Rings:
A Tale of Exile, Narrative, and Fate

in conversation with JAMES WOOD

Date

Oct
15
Thursday
October 15, 2020
7:00 PM

Location

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.

Tickets

Free - $3 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes celebrated memoirist, essayist, and critic DANIEL MENDELSOHN—author of the National Book Critics Circle Award–winning books Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture and The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million—for a discussion of his latest book, Three Rings: A Tale of Exile, Narrative, and Fate. He will be joined in conversation by esteemed novelist and literary critic JAMES WOOD, author of How Fiction Works.

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About Three Rings

In this genre-defying book, best-selling memoirist and critic Daniel Mendelsohn explores the mysterious links between the randomness of the lives we lead and the artfulness of the stories we tell.

Combining memoir, biography, history, and literary criticism, Three Rings weaves together the stories of three exiled writers who turned to the classics of the past to create masterpieces of their own—works that pondered the nature of narrative itself. Erich Auerbach, the Jewish philologist who fled Hitler’s Germany and wrote his classic study of Western literature, Mimesis, in Istanbul; François Fénelon, the seventeenth-century French archbishop whose ingenious sequel to the Odyssey, The Adventures of Telemachus—a veiled critique of the Sun King and the best-selling book in Europe for one hundred years—resulted in his banishment; and the German novelist W. G. Sebald, self-exiled to England, whose distinctively meandering narratives explore Odyssean themes of displacement, nostalgia, and separation from home.

Intertwined with these tales of exile and artistic crisis is an account of Mendelsohn’s struggles to write two of his own books―a family saga of the Holocaust and a memoir about reading the Odyssey with his elderly father—that are haunted by tales of oppression and wandering. As Three Rings moves to its startling conclusion, a climactic revelation about the way in which the lives of its three heroes were linked across borders, languages, and centuries forces the reader to reconsider the relationship between narrative and history, art and life.

Praise for Three Rings

"Classicist, historian, memoirist, cultural critic, wit—with consummate skill and the sharp, sympathetic eye of the poet, Daniel Mendelsohn brilliantly combines these roles. Three Rings is a masterly exegesis and demonstration of digression as a high art." —Joyce Carol Oates

"Daniel Mendelsohn’s Three Rings is erudition, essayism, and memoir, made to dance together like a visible clockworks—or literary scholarship such as Ricky Jay might have practiced it onstage. This little book is ruminative, humane, and gorgeously precise." —Jonathan Lethem

"An astounding Borgesian document of clarity and brilliance. A book about telling stories that wanders down the seeming two roads of the Hebrew tradition and the classical, which, like Proust’s two ways, might turn out to be one way after all. Three Rings has the keeled force of a long poem." —Sebastian Barry

Daniel Mendelsohn
Daniel Mendelsohn

Daniel Mendelsohn

Daniel Mendelsohn is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, where he is Editor-at-Large. His books include the memoirs An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic and The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million as well as three collections of essays and criticism, most recently Ecstasy and Terror: From the Greeks to Game of Thrones. He teaches literature at Bard College.

Photo credit: Matt Mendelsohn

James Wood
James Wood

James Wood

James Wood is a staff writer at The New Yorker and Professor of the Practice of Literary Criticism at Harvard University. He is the author of How Fiction Works, as well as the essay collections, Serious Noticing, The Broken Estate and The Irresponsible Self, and the novels, The Book Against God and Upstate.

 

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

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