Sam Riviere presents "Dead Souls," with Lucy Ives

May 18, 2021, 7:30 PM

Sam Riviere joins us to present his new novel, Dead Souls, in conversation with Lucy Ives. This program will take place on Zoom. Register here: 

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A scandal has shaken the literary world. As the unnamed narrator of Dead Souls discovers at a cultural festival in central London, the offender is Solomon Wiese, a poet accused of plagiarism. Later that same evening, at a bar near Waterloo Bridge, our narrator encounters the poet in person, and listens to the story of Wiese's rise and fall, a story that takes the entire night--and the remainder of the novel--to tell.

Wiese reveals his unconventional views on poetry, childhood encounters with "nothingness," a conspiracy involving the manipulation of documents in the public domain, an identity crisis, a retreat to the country, a meeting with an ex-serviceman with an unexpected offer, the death of an old poet, a love affair with a woman carrying a signpost, an entanglement with a secretive poetry cult, and plans for a triumphant return to the capital, through the theft of poems, illegal war profits, and faked social media accounts--plans in which our narrator discovers he is obscurely implicated.

Dead Souls is a metaphysical mystery brilliantly encased in a picaresque romp, a novel that asks a vital question for anyone who makes or engages with art: Is everyone a plagiarist?

Sam Riviere is the author of a trilogy of poetry books, 81 Austerities (2012) Kim Kardashian's Marriage (2015), and After Fame (2020), all published by Faber, and a book of experimental prose, Safe Mode (Test Centre, 2017). He teaches at Durham University and lives in Edinburgh where he runs the micropublisher If a Leaf Falls Press.

Lucy Ives is the author of the novel Impossible Views of the World. Her writing has appeared in Art in AmericaArtforum, the BafflerfriezeGrantaLapham’s QuarterlyVogue, and at newyorker.com. For five years she was an editor with the online magazine Triple Canopy. A graduate of Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she holds a PhD in comparative literature from New York University.She currently teaches in the Image Text interdisciplinary MFA program at Ithaca College, as well as in NYU’s XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement Master’s program. She is the recipient of a 2018 Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant.