The outstanding American literary scholar of Latvian origin, cultural observer and publicist Sven Birkerts, son of architect Gunnar Birkerts, is a well-known essayist in the United States, an autor of 10 critically acclaimed books. His first book published in Latvian is represented by two of his last collections of essays: “The Other Walk” (2011) and “Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age” (2015).
The two groups of essays are arranged in thematically distinct chapters, which are nevertheless united by main cultural research interests of Birkerts: the changes brought about by the digital age in culture and in human consciousness, the importance of literature and reading nowadays and the role of memories in the constant transformation of human personality. The book is supplemented by the author’s foreword and afterword written especially for this book.
Sven Birkerts (1951) was born in Pontiac, Michigan, graduated from Cranbrook school and Michigan University. Birkerts has been editor of AGNI since July 2002. His most recent books are The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age (1994), Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age (2015), The Other Walk (2011), Art of Time in Memoir: Then, Again (2008), and Reading Life: Books for the Ages (2007).
He was winner of the Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle in 1985 and the Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award from PEN for the best book of essays in 1990. Birkerts has reviewed regularly for The New York Times, Esquire, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Parnassus and other publications. He has taught writing at Harvard University, Emerson College, and Amherst and has most recently been Briggs-Copeland lecturer in nonfiction at Harvard. He was the director of the Bennington Writing Seminars from 2007–2017 and has been a member of the core faculty since its founding in 1994.