an evening with Wallace Shawn & Deborah Eisenberg

Last night, the Center for Fiction hosted a reading of Gregor von Rezzori’s An Ermine in CzernopolThe evening was in honor of the recent release of the new English translation. Rezzori’s widow, Beatrice Monte della Corte, gave the opening remarks. She was such a riot with a quick wit. She commented that she thought the new translation was fantastic. Debbie and Wally (as they so casually referred to each other) read excerpts from this hilarious novel.

Some people from the New York Review of Books were also there. They have been doing a wonderful job publishing quality translations of international books. The physical aesthetics of the books are quite lovely, too.

I snapped a few photos of the two reading, but most of them were obstructed by the back of Edmund White’s head. I resisted the temptation to whisper I loved Forgetting Elena into his ear.

After the reading, my friend and I moved to the back where we chatted and sipped free literary wine (meaning, out of plastic cups). Wallace Shawn was charming and silly. Deborah Eisenberg came over to us and chatted till the end of the evening. We asked her how she got to know Rezzori. Apparently, he was a fan of My Dinner with Andre and wanted to meet her boyfriend, Wallace Shawn. All is in the past but Deborah couldn’t stop singing the praise of the late Rezzori.

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One comment

  1. I have always liked the cut of Wallace Shawn, especially since The Princess Bride. His intelligence shone through his performances, I’ll be interested to read the book. Thanks.

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