“Real Fiction and Fictitious Realities. The Novel and the World“
How does our brain differentiate fiction and reality? And where does literary fiction fit between the two?
Acclaimed author and philosopher, Jorge Volpi, will attempt to unravel the neurological mechanism activated when we read or write literary fiction. In this compelling keynote, Volpi will use science and philosophy to show how the novel moves between reality and fiction and how that movement allows us to explore the world and ourselves.
Jorge Volpi (1968) is the author of the international bestseller In Search of Klingsor, winner of the Biblioteca Breve Prize and the Deux Océans-Grinzane Cavour Prize, which together with The End of Madness, Season of Ashes and Memorial of deception form his “Tetralogy of Power.”
Volpi earned a degree in law as well as a master in Mexican literature at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He went on to receive a Doctorate in Spanish Philology from the University of Salamanca, in Spain. He received a fellowship from the John S. Guggenheim Foundation. Over the years he has been a professor at Emory University, Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Catholic University of Chile, and Princeton University. Since 2008 he has taught a master class called “Maestros del Exilio Español” in the School of Philosophy and Literature at UNAM.
Volpi is one of the founders of the “Crack” group, a prestigious Mexican literary movement, which departs from the traditional Latin American magical realism. In his collected volume, Days of Wrath, he experiments with the boundary between short story and novel in tales such as, “Despite the Dark Silence,” “Days of Wrath” and “The Apocalypse Game.” He is the author of more than a dozen novels.
His prominent essays include Contagious Lies (2008 Mazatlan Prize), Imagination and Power, An Intellectual History of 1968; The War and the Words, A History of the Zapatista Uprising; and Bolivar´s Insomnia: Four Untimely Considerations on Latin America in the 21th Century (2008 Iberoamericano Debate-Casa de América Prize).
Jorge Volpi has been decorated as a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of France and as a Knight of the Order of Isabella the Catholic of Spain. In 2009 he received the José Donoso Prize from Chile for the body of his work. In the past, he was the director of many celebrated organizations including, the Institute of Mexico in Paris, Canal (Channel) 22, and the International Cervantino Festival. Currently, Volpi is the coordinator of UNAM’s Cultural Department. He is also a columnist for the journals El País and Reforma, and The Nation magazine.
His most recent books include: Reading the Mind: The Brain and the Art of Fiction (2011), and Examination of my Father (2016). His books have been translated into 25 languages.
Jorge Volpi will be one of the stars of Spanish literature of this century.
— Carlos Fuentes
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Jorge Volpi will also be a panelist in the Co-Cultural Panel: Our Cultures, Ourselves.