The Weidenfield Lectures with Juan Gabriel Vazquez, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 19 October – 20 November 2022

The Weidenfeld Lectures 2022: Juan Gabriel Vásquez on Interpreting the World: Notes of the Uses of Fiction

Mary Ogilvie Lecture Theatre, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford
19 October, 27 October, 3 November, 10 November

“The duty and task of a writer are those of an interpreter”, writes Marcel Proust in the last volume of In Search of Lost Time. In these four lectures, Juan Gabriel Vásquez will discuss how that interpretation takes place and why it affords us an understanding of life that can’t be found elsewhere. Fiction, he will argue, is uniquely able to translate the complexities of experience – our mysterious lives, our relationship with the past, our political selves – into knowledge and illumination. These lectures will ask us to refine the uses of fiction, how we understand what it does, and why, in our present time, it is probably more indispensable than ever.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez is the Weidenfeld Visiting Professor in Comparative European Literature. An acclaimed novelist, his books include the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award winner and bestseller The Sound of Things Falling (El ruido de las cosas al caer), and Man Booker International finalist The Shape of the Ruins (La forma de las ruinas), as well as the award-winning Reputations, The Informers, The Secret History of Costaguana, and the story collection Lovers on All Saints’ Day. His books have been published in twenty-eight languages worldwide. After sixteen years in Europe, he now lives in Bogotá.

You can reserve your place here for the following lectures via Eventbrite:

The Eyes of Others (Wednesday, October 19, 2022 – 17:30)
Time and the Novelist (Thursday, October 27, 2022 – 17:30)
Narrating the Mystery (Thursday, November 3, 2022 – 17:30)
Freedom (Thursday, November 10, 2022 – 17:30)

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