Virtual Book Club at the MFA: Optic Nerve
In 2020, the Book Club at the MFA joins in the national celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women in the United States the right to vote. Join us for exciting monthly readings by or about female authors, artists and activists, with discussions centered on topical issues and themes universal to all: empowerment, artistic and creative excellence, and the push for equality for all.
For May, we are reading Optic Nerve by Maria Gainza, and will join together on Zoom to explore the book, its characters, themes and more! This online event is free, but registration is required and will be limited to 50 participants. Register by clicking here.
This nimble yet momentous novel is composed of episodes in the life of María, who lives in Buenos Aires, often beginning with an anecdote about someone she knows before brilliantly finding an associative link to a work of art, then delving into the backstory of the artwork and the artist before coming full circle to how it all makes sense in Maria’s life. There are many pleasures in Gainza’s novel: its clever and dynamic structure, its many aperçus (“happiness interests only those who experience it; nobody can be moved by the happiness of others”), and some of the very best writing about art around. With playfulness and startling psychological acuity, Gainza explores the spaces between others, art, and the self, and how what one sees and knows form the ineffable hodgepodge of the human soul. Seductive and capricious, Optic Nerve marks the English-language debut of a major Argentinian voice in the art world.