John Crowley, award-winning author of "Little, Big," the four-book Aegypt series and other novels, will give a talk on "Transformations of History in Fiction," this year's UC Davis Department of History Lunn Lecture, in the AGR Hall of the campus Buehler Alumni Center (near the Mondavi Center).He will discuss the difference between conventional historical fiction and what he calls "transformative historical fiction." Transformative historical fiction, he says, "constructs the thought-world of a period of the past, and yet presents that world -- say, one in which supernatural beings or ancient science are central to the behaviors and choices made by historical actors -- as actually obtaining at the time. The pitfalls of such an approach are absurdity or fantasy. Yet to live in a thought-world different from the reader's own -- even more, a physical or spiritual world different from her own -- may illuminate the richness and strangeness of all human life, including her own."
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Davis, CA 95616