Sacred Monsters: Wrestling with the Legacies of Complicated Artists

4:00 pm - 4:45 pm
Sunday, November 8, 2020
In their genre-spanning new books, Daniel Mendelsohn (Three Rings: A Tale of Exile, Narrative, and Fate) and Alex Ross (Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music) tell colorful stories around four famous historical figures: the exiled writers Erich Auerbach, François Fénelon, and W. G. Sebald, and the composer Richard Wagner. Grappling with their subjects’ complicated legacies, Mendelsohn and Ross’s books lean into the complexity of these artists’ lives. We turn to artists for unique insights; those insights, we find, only reveal more questions.
  • Moderator: Clay Smith
  • Format: This is a free, live, virtual event.
  • Q&A: Please direct questions to the authors and moderator with CrowdCast's "Ask a Question" button and not the chat box. Questions will be shared with the moderator, and the moderator will attempt to get to as many audience questions as possible toward the end of the session.
  • Chat: Feel free to use the chat box to share your thoughts and virtually cheer for and share kudos with the session's participants! Disorderly comments will be removed immediately. Please refer to the code of conduct.
  • Books: Please consider clicking the "Buy the Book(s)" button below the video feed, which leads to BookPeople, Texas Book Festival's partner bookseller. Your purchase helps support the author(s), independent bookselling, and the Texas Book Festival. Thank you.
Daniel Mendelsohn, Alex Ross, Three Rings: A Tale of Exile, Narrative, and Fate, Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music


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