Your Guide to the New Yorker Festival

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Compared to last year’s all-star lineup (Ian Buruma vs. Martin Amis! A master class with Robert Hass!) this year’s New Yorker Festival is oddly underwhelming. In any event, there are some things that should prove interesting and worthwhile. Here’s what we think they are, not including things that are sold out:

Friday, October 3:

Race and Class in America

With Barbara Ehrenreich, Thomas Frank, John McWhorter, Leslie Sanchez, and Cornel West. Moderated by David Remnick. 7 p.m. Town Hall ($20)

One of the wonkier of the Festival’s events, the New Yorker editor himself will moderate the panel of Nickel and Dimed author Ehrenreich, Baffler-founder and author of What’s the Matter with Kansas? Frank, market researcher Sanchez, linguist and Sun columnist McWhorter, and Princeton professor (and Matrix star, kind of!) West.

Saturday, October 4:

Richard Brody on the films of Jean-Luc Godard

4 p.m. IFC Center ($25)

See apparent winner of Allen Ginsberg look-a-like contest Richard Brody, who’s a staff writer at the magazine, discuss the films of Godard. Bonus Breathless showing.

Chuck Hagel interviewed by Ryan Lizza

4 p.m. Acura Stage at Cedar Lake Theatre ($25)

The New Yorker‘s latest New Republic-import Lizza speaks to the Republican Senator from Nebraska. Expect a discussion of the election, but Hagel (who’s served in the Senate with McCain for 20 years and traveled with Obama to Iraq) has refused to endorse either candidate.

Art Spiegelman: “Breakdowns: Comix 101”

4:30 p.m. Ailey Citigroup Theater

Joan Weill Center for Dance ($25)

Upperclassmen might recall applying to the Maus-author’s spring 07 American Studies seminar. They might also recall being rejected (over 70 students had applied.) It’s your second chance to see Spiegelman in person, and in this case, there are no end-of-semester essays.

Sunday, October 5:

Literary Criticism With James Wood.

4 p.m. Festival HQ Metropolitan Pavilion ($35)

Premier literary critic and author of How Fiction Works will now tell you how criticizing fiction works.

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  1. ....  

    Isn't Spiegelman also speaking here on December 1? For free?

  2. Let it be known  

    that John McWhorter (speaking in "Race and Class in America") is teaching CC this semester. I'm in his section, and he seems to be an able, if not cunning, linguist. Plus he called Plato an "asshole."

  3. underwhelming?  

    they also have tom morello, joyce carol oates, and clint eastwood!

    • DHI  

      Word. Last year's schedule doesn't look that much stronger. For example, they have a fake version of Dr. Strangelove star Peter Sellers named Peter Sellars. This reminds me of when I bought a 10-pack of second rate Kung Fu movies starring Bruce Li, Bruce Le, Dragon Lee, and Bruce Lai.

  4. Anonymous

    Underwhelming? They got Haruki Murakami (who rarely does events) and Alice Munro (who rarely leaves Ontario), so that's definitely a coup.

  5. huh?

    Underwhelming? Huh?

    For starters, Clint Eastwood, Stephen Colbert, Mary-Louise Parker, Guillermo del Toro, Matt Groening, Paul Rudd, Oliver Stone...

    Also, Rushdie, Murakami, Munro, Seamus Heaney, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jhumpa Lahiri, Anne Enright...

    There are two Oscar-winners, a Nobel laureate, two Booker laureates, and two Pulitzer Prize-winners on that list alone.

    When did the Bwog come to have such questionable taste?

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