Does the Past have an Expiry Date? A conversation with Georgi Gospodinov and Angela Rodel
11 March 2024, 6:15 pm–8:00 pm
Please join us for this event organised by the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies with the generous support of the Bulgarian Cultural Institute, UCL Anthropocene, and UCL SSEES’s Fringe Centre, ProLang Project, and Centre for the Study of South-Eastern Europe. This will be an in person event.
This event is free.
G06 Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture TheatreRoberts BuildingTorrington PlaceLondonWC1E 7JE
The International Booker Prize winning author Georgi Gospodinov and his translator Angela Rodel will join UCL SSEES’s Uilleam Blacker, who was a member of the judging panel for the Prize, for a conversation about Georgi’s latest, multi-award-winning novel, Time Shelter, a brilliant, satirical look at memory, nostalgia and populist politics. The novel explores what happens when we lose our sense of the present and plunge into the past: in Switzerland, a clinic transports its patients back in time by meticulously recreating their childhood homes; at the same time, countries across Europe hold referendums on turning back the clock to their respective ‘golden ages’. But are there dangers lurking in such intense retrospection? The conversation will touch on the pitfalls of nostalgia, memory politics and their implications for the future, and the importance of translation in bringing multiple perspectives on such universal problems to global readers.
Georgi Gospodinov is the 2023 International Booker Prize winning author of Time Shelter (translated by Angela Rodel). The novel is published in more than 30 languages and was named book of the year for 2022 by the New Yorker, the Guardian and the Financial Times. Georgi Gospodinov became internationally known with his previous novels Natural Novel and The Physics of Sorrow. Gospodinov is the winner of the Premio Strega Europeo (2021), the Central European Angelus Award (2019), the Jan Michalski Prize (2016), and has been shortlisted for over a dozen other international prizes, including the Premio Gregor von Rezzori and the American PEN Translation Prize. He has published several books of short stories, including And Other Stories, And All Turned Moon, and All Our Bodies. His complex narratives are engaged with the memory of the recent Eastern European past and the present anxieties of Europe and the world. La Repubblica described him as ‘a Proust from the East’.
Angela Rodel is a literary translator, actor and musician who lives in Bulgaria. She holds degrees from Yale and UCLA and has received NEA and PEN translation grants. Her translation of Georgi Gospodinov’s The Physics of Sorrow won the National Book Center’s 2015 Peroto Prize for best translation from Bulgarian, the 2016 AATSEEL Prize for Best Book of Literary Translation and was nominated for the three most prestigious translation awards in the US: the 2016 PEN Translation Prize, the 2016 National Translation Award from the American Literary Translators Association, and Three Percent’s Best Translated Book Award for 2016. Her translation of Time Shelter won the International Booker Prize. Her poetry and prose translations have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including McSweeney’s, Little Star, Ploughshares, Granta.org, Two Lines, and Words Without Borders, among others. In 2014, she was awarded Bulgarian citizenship for her translation work and contribution to Bulgarian culture. She has served as executive director of the Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission since 201
The event is organised by the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies with the generous support of the Bulgarian Cultural Institute, UCL Anthropocene (Writers of the Anthropocene series), and UCL SSEES’s Fringe Centre, ProLang Project, and Centre for the Study of South-Eastern Europe.