Lorenz Frolich, Death and Wanderer

Walter Benjamin: The Storyteller

American Folk Art Museum
2 Lincoln Square
New York, NY 10023

Walter Benjamin’s essay “The Storyteller” is one of his most importanta profound meditation on the contrast between story-telling and mass communication and the immense significance of the apparent fact that “Less and less frequently do we encounter people with the ability to tell a tale properly.” On Thursday, October 10th, join BISR, The New York Review of Books, and the American Folk Art Museum as we take the occasion of the NYRB’s publication of “The Storyteller” and related essays to examine the meaning and enduring relevance of Benjamin’s essayfor modern politics, communication, literature, and sensibility. With BISR’s Christine Smallwood, Suzanne Schneider, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, translator Tess Lewis, and novelist Hermione Hoby, we’ll ask: What distinguishes a story from a novel? How do we acquire knowledge collectively? Why, in the age of mass communication, are we “not richer, but poorer in communicable experience.” Is political, cultural, and social fragmentation endemic to “modern” life, and if so, can it be overcome?

A light reception will follow the talk. The event is free to attend. Please RSVP below.

Walter Benjamin: The Storyteller is being held in partnership with The New York Review of Books and the American Folk Art Museum. The museum’s forthcoming exhibition Memory Palaces: Inside the Collection of Audrey B. Heckler opens Tuesday, September 17th.

Event Schedule

Thursday, 7:00-9:00pm
October 10, 2019


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