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Trinity's Decoursey Lecture Series: Douglas Hofstadter

From Trinity's news release: Pulitzer Prize Winner Douglas Hofstadter Featured Speaker for 2012 DeCoursey Lecture at Trinity University Hofstadter to present two lectures: A Gentle Introduction to the Most Beloved Work of Russian Literature: Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin and You Are a Strange Loop

SAN ANTONIO - Douglas Hofstadter, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Distinguished Professor at Indiana University in Bloomington, is the featured speaker of the 2012 Trinity University DeCoursey Lecture. His first presentation, A Gentle Introduction to the Most Beloved Work of Russian Literature: Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin is on Monday, Oct. 29, followed by You Are a Strange Loop on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Both presentations are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Laurie Auditorium and are free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis; tickets or reservations are not required.

Monday, Oct. 29 Presentation:

Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, written in[masked], is universally considered by Russians to be their literature's highest peak. A melancholy tale recounted in a sparkling, lyrical, and humorous style, Eugene Oneginis hilarious and profoundly sad at the same time. The challenge in translating Eugene Onegin into any other language is to preserve and convey its dazzling poetic beauty. This presentation features a "full" reading-aloud of the text utilizing three different translations. The performance consists of two stretches of roughly one hour each, with a short coffee break in the middle.

Tuesday, Oct. 30 Presentation:
Is what each of us calls "I" something real? Located inside our brains? The same in each one of us or totally different? Is an "I" some kind of pattern? Might this pattern be more like a mirage or a rainbow than a physical thing? The answer to this last question is "Aye!", and this lecture is about this abstract pattern called an "I", and why our "I" is indispensable to the human condition, in which we all find ourselves in our shared pathways stretching from birth to death.

Douglas Hofstadter is best known for his book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, first published in 1979. It won both the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction and a National Book Award, at that time called The American Book Award for Science. His 2007 book I Am a Strange Loop won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology. Hofstadter has a lifelong love for languages, and has written a tome about translation, analogies, constraints, and creativity, Le Ton beau de Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language, and translated many poems and two novels into English.

The DeCoursey Lecture Series is made possible by a gift from the late Gen. Elbert DeCoursey and Mrs. DeCoursey of San Antonio. For more information, contact Trinity's Office of Academic Affairs at[masked]-8201.

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  • Valerie

    Mike and I are in section D seats 8 and 9. We will try to save the seats around us but that may get difficult if it starts to fill up. Hope to see some of you soon :)

    October 30, 2012

  • Gary K.

    I think the 10/29 lecture will also be interesting, so I've added it to my calendar.

    October 16, 2012

  • Gary K.

    Thx for the heads up.

    October 16, 2012

  • Valerie

    **Change of date ** They just announced the event and there are actually two talks. The one on Monday is about Russian literature, so I didn't include it on our schedule, though it may interest some of you. I hope to see everyone there!

    October 16, 2012

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