Literature Program
 


Thursday, November 20, 2003

Co-sponsored/co-presented by:
The University at Buffalo Department of English

Paul Lafarge

Exhibit X

Presented at:
Hallwalls

Paul LaFarge is the author of two novels: The Artist of the Missing (1999) and Haussmann, or the Distinction, a New York Times "Notable Book" when it was published in 2001. His stories have appeared in Story, Conjunctions, and McSweeney’s. LaFarge was a 2002 Guggenheim Fellow. He is currently working on his third novel, about aviators, stand-up comedians, and languages not in general use. He lives out of his car.

Fiction writer and new UB English Professor Christina Milletti has initiated an exciting new series of readings at Hallwalls by some of the most talented and interesting young fiction writers publishing today. Practically from its inception in the mid-1970s, when such writers as Kathy Acker visited Essex Street early in their careers, and continuing unabated through at least the early 1990s, Hallwalls was renowned for its innovative fiction programming, complementing the wealth of readings in poetry and other genres presented by just buffalo literary center, the UB Poetics Program, and many other community literary presenters. Hallwalls is pleased to partner with the UB English Department in hosting this new series, with writers selected by Milletti, which will continue the Hallwalls tradition of showcasing innovative prose and experimental narrative. The series title is a phrase from Alain Robbe-Grillet’s influential essay "A Future for the Novel."

"In this future universe of the novel, gestures and objects will be there before being something; and they will still be there afterwards, hard, unalterable, eternally present, mocking their own ‘meaning.’ Exhibit X ‘gives us’ a clear image of this situation. Though [it] may conceal a mystery, or betray it, the [X] element which make[s] a mockery of systems has only one serious, obvious quality, which is to be there."
from "A Future for the Novel" by Alain Robbe-Grillet

 
 
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Laylah Ali's work explores power dynamics and interpersonal conflict through compositions that position culturally, racially and sexually ambiguous figures in precarious, loaded, and unexpectedly humorous situations. Ali uses concise—even minimal—imagery that is specific in rendering and intent. While there are narratives in Ali's work, they are stories whose open spaces often give them the atmosphere of fables.