April 13th, 2023 (4:30pm – 6pm Boston) | Hybrid
This event will review history’s first technological revolution, sparked by the invention of writing, following the distant era of oral tradition and before the existence of books. Fascinating searches and anonymous discoveries led to the creation of the book as we know it today, in an exciting race against the destruction of memory. Centuries later was born the ambitious dream of protecting all known knowledge, in the Great Library of Alexandria. In this legendary library and with unprecedented effort, the craft of translation was developed, along with a cosmopolitan view of the world. These phenomena have left a literary and philosophical legacy that endures in our contemporary world: today their footprints continue to illuminate the paths of the past that we will be.
Irene Vallejo studied Classical Philology and received her Ph.D. from the Universities of Zaragoza and Florence. It was in the libraries of Florence where she conceived her long essay El infinito en un junco (2019; Papyrus: The Invention of Books in the Ancient World in its English edition, Knopf, 2022), which has received an extraordinary reception among both critics and readers and has become an international publishing success. It was recognized with several awards in Spain and has had over 45 editions, as well as been published in 35 languages. Vallejo’s articles have been compiled in titles such as Alguien habló de nosotros (2017) and El futuro recordado (2020). Her works of fiction include El silbido del arquero (2015), a historical novel with echoes of Homer and Virgil. In 2020, she published her Manifiesto por la lectura, commissioned by the Spanish Association of Publishers Guilds.