Seminar 7: Paul Chan

A play, some pornos, and a presidential campaign
Night School with Paul Chan

September 11
Waiting for Godot in New Orleans: an illustrated lecture

In November 2007, Paul Chan, working with New York's Classical Theatre of Harlem, and Creative time, a public arts group, staged five free site-specific performances of Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot, in two New Orleanian neighborhoods destroyed by the flooding caused by the levee breaks during Hurricane Katrina. The performances were part of the larger project which also consisted of a fund to help local rebuilding and reorganizing efforts, and a series of dinners, lectures, classes, and events that unfolded throughout the city during the fall of 2007. The project was entitled . Paul will discuss the organizing and aesthetic ideas around the project and show clips from the performance in the Lower Ninth Ward.

For more information about this project:

September 12
A poet for president: Eileen Myles and her run for the White House

In September 1991, legendary New York Poet Eileen Myles launched her write-in presidential campaign, running against George Bush Sr. She writes, “As President he functions as a grand employer who has a complaint box. Each of us may get our two cents in. Once. After that we’re on our own because there is no special treatment for the vast majority of Americans today. There is very special treatment for white upper middle class heterosexual men and their spouses and children, there is special treatment for fundamentalist Christians and fetuses. [I] am a 41-year old American, a female, a lesbian, from a working class background, a poet, performer and writer making my living pretty exclusively from those activities. I’ve lived the majority of my adult life under the poverty level, without health care. More Americans, far more Americans are like me than George Bush. Why is he ruling this country and our lives?” Eileen will read a selection of letters and poems from her campaign and talk with Paul about her run and her work.

For more information about Eileen Myles:

September 13
The Sade I know: screening and lecture

Pornographer, philosopher, and revolutionary, Marquis De Sade remains an indispensable figure in the history of Post-Enlightenment western thought. His books Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and the notorious The 120 Days of Sodom (written during imprisonment) push our understanding of sex, violence, and reason, to unimaginable heights. Sade has inspired countless writings and works. In this screening, Paul will show clips from three films based on, or inspired by, Sade. They include Salo (1975) by Pier Paolo Pasolini, who situates Sadean characters in Fascist Italy, Marquis (1989), a French live animation film featuring a talking penis, and Marquis de Sade (1994), a hardcore adult film starring Italian porn star Rocco Siffredi. In between clips, Paul will discuss Sade’s relevance today in politics, pornography, law, and morality.

For more information about the Marquis De Sade:


Paul Chan

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