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LIVE from the NYPL: ATTENTION SPAN: Rebecca Solnit and Jonathan Miller


November 4, 2005

Rebecca Solnit, cultural critic and activist, joins Jonathan Miller, theater and opera director, physician, curator, and author: a conversation between two extraordinary minds. Expect to hear a conversation about.

Attention Span: What does it mean to pay attention from a physiological point of view (Miller) and a metaphysical point of view (Solnit)?
How long do people pay attention to something?
How long does it take to know, see, comprehend something?

Solnit and Miller will address the increasing restless rapidity of modern life. These questions, as Solnit states are good questions for libraries concerned as they are with collective memory and preserving the art of reading.


About Rebecca Solnit:

Rebecca Solnit's new book, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, explores losing one's self in the pleasures of experience uncertaintly, trust, loss, memory, desire, and place. Her books include Wanderlust: A History of Walking; River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West. In her book Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities she writes ? . . . I want to propose a new vision of how change happens . . . . I want to start over with an imagination adequate to the possibilities and the strangeness and the dangers on this earth in this moment.

About Jonathan Miller:

Jonathan Miller was a physician specializing in neurology when he left the medical profession for a career in the performing arts. Beyond the Fringe, a satirical comedy revue that opened on Broadway in 1962 and was a collaboration with Peter Cook, Alan Bennett, and Dudley Moore, marked the beginning of a new career in which he went from performing to producing and directing numerous productions for stage, opera, and television. Miller has become well known for his unique interpretations of Shakespeare and opera classics. In addition to his theatrical pursuits, Miller has written several books reflecting his fascination with medicine and science. One of these, The Body in Question, evolved from a thirteen-part television documentary that Miller created for the BBC. His other books include Nowhere in Particular and Darwin for Beginners.