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Thalia Book Club: Studio 360 Explores Kafka's The Metamorphosis
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 10/28/2015 at Symphony Space.

The Metamorphosis, first published in 1915, has captivated readers and artists for 100 years. Studio 360'sKurt Andersen leads spirited conversation exploring the classic story and its impact on arts and culture with guests Ben Marcus (Leaving the Sea), Helen Phillips (The Beautiful Bureaucrat), Eric Jarosinski (NeinQuarterly), and translator Susan Bernofsky. With a reading by Heather Burns (Bored to Death).

+ About the Artists

KURT ANDERSEN is a writer and the host and co-creator of Studio 360. Kurt is the author of the novels Turn of the Century, Heyday, for which he received the Langum Prize for American historical fiction, and most recently, True Believers, which was named a “best novel of the year” by The San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post. Other works include the essay Reset and a book of humorous essays titled The Real Thing. He has written and produced prime-time network television programs and pilots for NBC, ABC, and HBO, and co-authored Loose Lips, an off-Broadway theatrical revue that ran in New York and Los Angeles.

SUSAN BERNOFSKY’s translation of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis was published this year. She has translated works by Robert Walser, Jenny Erpenbeck, Yoko Tawada, Gregor von Rezzori, Uljana Wolf, and others. She is the recipient of the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize and the Calw Hermann Hesse Translation Prize, as well as awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the PEN Translation Fund, the NEA, the NEH, the Leon Levy Center for Biography, and the Lannan Foundation. She co-edited the 2013 Columbia University Press anthology In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What It Means, and her translation of Jenny Erpenbeck’s The End of Days is forthcoming in November. Currently, she directs Literary Translation at Columbia, a component of the Columbia University MFA Writing Program, and chairs the PEN Translation Committee.

HEATHER BURNS’ theater credits include Dinner with Friends and The Marriage of Bette and Boo at Roundabout Theatre, Medieval Play at Signature Theatre, Will Eno’s Middletown at the Vineyard Theater, Fran’s Bed and Lobby Hero at Playwrights Horizons, Woody Allen’s Writer’s Block at Atlantic Theatre Company, and the West End production of This is Our Youth. On television, Burns was most recently seen in the HBO comedy series Bored to Death and Save Me on NBC. Her film credits include The Fitzgerald Family, Christmas, What’s Your Number?, Ashes (which she also wrote and produced), Breaking Upwards, Choke, Miss Congeniality (1 & 2), Bewitched, The Groomsmen, Two Weeks’ Notice, and You’ve Got Mail. She will appear in the upcoming Manchester-by-the-Sea and Brave New Jersey.

ERIC JAROSINSKI is the founding editor of NeinQuarterly. A former professor of modern German literature, culture, and critical theory, his writing has been featured in numerous international publications, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, The Believer, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Der Spiegel, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Wall Street Journal, Slate, and The Irish Times. On Twitter, @NeinQuarterly has gained more than 100,000 followers in more than 125 countries. His first book, Nein. A Manifesto, was released in September.

FRANZ KAFKA (1883-1924) was one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. Born into a German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, he published his greatest work, The Metamorphosis, in 1915 and won the prestigious Theodor Fontane Prize. His other works include The The Trial, The Castle, Amerika, and A Country Doctor. His writing is notable for its emphasis on the absurdity of modern life and the terror of authoritarian government. He has influenced numerous writers throughout the last century, inspiring the term “kafkaesque,” which is used to describe literature that echoes the nightmarish and abstract aspects of his work.

BEN MARCUS is the author of Notable American Women, The Age of Wire and String, The Flame Alphabet, and his most recent collection, Leaving the Sea. His stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, The Paris Review, The New York Times, and McSweeney’s. He is the editor of The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories and The Vintage Book of New American Short Stories. He has received the Berlin Prize, the Whiting Writers’ Award, honors from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

HELEN PHILLIPS’ novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat was released in August, and her short story collection Some Possible Solutions will follow in 2016. She is the author of the collection and yet they were happy and
the children’s adventure novel
Here Where the Sunbeams Are GreenShe has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, the Italo Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction, The Iowa Review Nonfiction Award, the DIAGRAM Innovative Fiction Award, the Meridian Editors’ Prize, and a Ucross Foundation residency. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Electric Literature, and BOMB, among others. She is a professor at Brooklyn College. 

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