Berkeley Arts & Letters: TIM O'BRIEN / The Things They Carried
Tuesday, March 16 TIM O'BRIEN
A Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of
THE THINGS THEY CARRIED
"Forty-three years old, and the war occurred half a lifetime ago, and yet the remembering makes it now. And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That's what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story."
On the twentieth anniversary of its publication, THE THINGS THEY CARRIED returns. A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, THE THINGS THEY CARRIED is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling.
O'Brien's story depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O'Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three.
Taught everywhere -- from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing -- -it has become required reading for any American and continues to challenge readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage and fear and longing.
Robert R. Harris, in his 1990 review in The New York Times, wrote, "O'Brien says, 'It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.' Mr. O'Brien cuts to the heart of writing about war. And by subjecting his memory and imagination to such harsh scrutiny, he seems to have reached a reconciliation, to have made his peace - or to have made up his peace."
Tim O'Brien received the 1979 National Book Award for Going After Cacciato. Among his other books are In the Lake of the Woods, Tomcat in Love, If I Die in a Combat Zone, and July, July. He teaches creative writing in Texas.
7:30 PM @ FCCB (First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way at Dana, Berkeley; enter via Channing Way white doors)
$12 advance (Brown Paper Tickets or 800-838-3006), $15 at the door
First Congregational Church of Berkeley
2345 Channing Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|