“Victor Serge died in exile and obscurity, apparently no more than a splinter of a splinter in the Marxist movement. But with the passage of the years, he looms up as one of the great moral figures of our time, an artist of such integrity and a revolutionary of such purity as to overshadow those who achieved fame and power. His failure was his success. I know of no participant in Russia’s revolution and Spain’s agonies who more deserves the attention of our concerned youth.” – I. F. Stone
2:00 pm: Talks and Discussion:
· "Victor Serge: Revolution and its Illusions" by Mitchell Abidor, translator of Serge’s Anarchists Never Surrender (PM Press) and Notebooks (NYRB Classics). Serge’s autobiography bears the title Memoirs of a Revolutionary (a title he didn’t choose), but at the beginning and end of his political life he posed serious questions about the efficacy of revolution and revolutionary activity. Inspired by Serge’s article “The Revolutionary Illusion,” Mitch Abidor will examine this aspect of Serge’s thought.
· “Victor Serge’s Novels of Resistance” by Richard Greeman, Serge scholar, translator and prefacer of five Serge novels (NYRB Classics, PM Press)
• Victor Serge and the Poetics of Revolutionary Memory by Christopher Winks. A discussion of Serge’s poetry as a prolonged elegy for the fallen —“the cortège of his executed brothers” —and an affirmation of love and hope amidst the darkness of world counter-revolution.
4:00 pm: Serge Read-Out:
You are invited to join Christopher Winks (Comparative Literature, Queens College, CUNY), Edwin Frank (Editor, NYRB Classics), Jenny Greeman (New Perspectives Theater) and many other Serge fans who will read aloud from their favorite passage in Serge and talk about them.