Emma Smith: Why Do We Still Burn Books?
Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Oxford University, lectures on the history of book-burning from the ancient Mediterranean to Margaret Atwood.
“Book burning for ideological reasons is almost as old as the book form itself,” writes Smith in her new book, Portable Magic: A History of Books and Their Readers. It is "a highly emotive trope...compelling for those who burn and those who deplore it. But, in itself, burning a book is irrelevant.” Debating the practical implications of burning books against their symbolic power, Smith lectures on items in the New York Public Library’s Treasures exhibition to examine this peculiar corner in the history of censorship and the talismanic power of books.
Venue: New York Public Library - Stephen A Schwarzman Building
476 5th Avenue
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