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PEN World Voices Festival Panel to Explore Legacy of H.G. Adler at Jewish Museum, 5/7

By: Apr. 21, 2015
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Compared by critics to Kafka and Joyce, H. G. Adler is quickly gaining recognition as a key figure in 20th-century fiction. Adler is author of The Wall, a fictional account of his life as a survivor of the Holocaust; and Theresienstadt 1941-1945: The Face of a Coerced Community, the first scholarly monograph to describe the particulars of a single concentration camp, to be published in a new translation in October 2015. The Jewish Museum will present H.G. Adler: A Survivor's Dual Reverie, an author talk featuring Daniel Mendelsohn, Peter Filkins, Ruth Franklin, and H.G. Adler's son Jeremy Adler, on Thursday, May 7 at 7pm. Edwin Frank will serve as moderator for the discussion. This program is co-presented with the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, May 4-10, 2015.

Tickets for the May 7 program are $20 general; $15 students, seniors, and Jewish Museum and PEN Festival members. Further program and ticket information is available online at or by calling 212.423.3337. The Jewish Museum is located at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, Manhattan.

H. G. Adler (1910-1988) was the author of twenty-six books of fiction, poetry, philosophy, and history. A survivor of Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, Adler later settled in England and began writing novels about his experience. Working as a freelance writer and scholar throughout his life, Adler died in London in 1988. One of only a few death camp survivors to fictionalize his experiences, The New Yorker called Adler's first two novels Panorama and The Journey "modernist masterpieces" and The New York Times Book Review compared his work to Joyce, Kafka and Gertrude Stein.

Jeremy Adler was born in London and studied German and English at the University of London. In the 1970s he was part of the international experimental poetry scene before pursuing an academic career. He taught at Westfield College (University of London), Queen Mary and Westfield College (University of London), and was professor of German at King's College London. He has written books on Goethe, Kafka, and visual poetry and edited the complete works of August Stramm, the complete poetry of Franz Baermann Steiner, and Steiner's collected essays. He has published widely on Goethe, Hölderlin, Novalis, and other German writers.

Peter Filkins is an award-winning translator and poet. He has translated Darkness Spoken: The Collected Poems of Ingeborg Bachmann, as well as H.G. Adler's Shoah trilogy: The Journey, Panorama, and The Wall. He has received an Outstanding Translation Award from the American Literary Translators Association, a Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, and a Distinguished Translation Award from the Austrian Ministry. His poems, translations, reviews, and essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, the L.A. Times Book Review, The American Scholar, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Poetry, and numerous other publications. He teaches translation and literature at Bard College.

Ruth Franklin is a freelance book critic and the author of A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction. She has written for many publications, including The New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and The New York Times Book Review. A past Guggenheim Fellow, she is currently a fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography at CUNY, where she is working on a biography of the American writer Shirley Jackson.

Daniel Mendelsohn was born in New York City in 1960 and educated at the University of Virginia and at Princeton. His essays and reviews appear frequently in The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, Harper's, and The New York Times. His books include the international best-seller The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million; a memoir, The Elusive Embrace; a translation of the complete poems of Cavafy; and two collections of essays and criticism, most recently Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture, which was shortlisted for the PEN Art of the Essay Award. He teaches at Bard College.

Edwin Frank is the editor of The New York Review of Books Classics series and the author of Snake Train: Poems 1984-2013.

Public programs are made possible by endowment support from the William Petschek Family, the Trustees of the Salo W. and Jeannette M. Baron Foundation, Barbara and Benjamin Zucker, the late William W. Hallo, the late Susanne Hallo Kalem, the late Ruth Hallo Landman, the Marshall M. Weinberg Fund, with additional support from Marshall M. Weinberg, the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Foundation, the Saul and Harriet M. Rothkopf Family Foundation and Ellen Liman. Additional support is provided by Lorraine and Martin Beitler and through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.