Inspired by 17th Century French Salons — intimate gatherings where people would come together to exchange literary and philosophical ideas under the roof of an educated host — Four Chambers Press will be hosting a night of literary conversation, community — and of course, drinking — with guest host socially-awkward over-sharer, patriarchy smasher, and ASU PhD in Creative Writing Candidate Natasha Murdock
This month's topic: Cat Person
On Monday, December 11th, 2017, the New Yorker published a short story by author Kristen Roupenian entitled «Cat Person», which follows the protagonist--Margot, a 20 year old female college student who works at a movie theather--as she negotiates an awkward, short-lived relationship with Robert (a man in his early thirties).
For whatever reason--the depiction of mediated relationships through text messaging and technology, the bad sex, male fragility, millenial narcissism, consent, #metoo--Cat Person immediately went viral, sparking the meme / twitter account «Men React to Cat Person» and articles in the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the Economist, Slate, Esquire, Vox, USA Today, and more.
Interestingly, many initially mistook Roupenian's work for a personal essay or memoir (rather than a crafted work of fiction). And while Roupenian's story is clearly connecting with people's individual experiences amidst a larger resonance in the collective social consciousness, the phenomenon also raises interesting questions about the ways we interact with text.
Why is Cat Person so popular? How is social media changing the way texts are produced, disseminated, and read? Was Roupenian's short story mistaken for nonfiction because of her gender? Is relatability the ultimate metric for evaluating a text's worth?
Meet us in The Reading Room inside The Rose Room at Valley Bar (Basement, 130 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004). Valley Bar is located on Monroe St down the alley between Central and 1st Ave. Parking is available in several public garages around the area and at meters down First Ave. Valley Bar is also a two-minute walk from the light rail via the Central Ave and Van Buren stop. We also recommend a bicycle.
As space is limited, we recommend arriving early to secure your seat.
Please e-mail us at [email protected]
with any questions or suggestions for future topics. Hope to see you there!
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