That's a question on the table at a May 4 panel discussion with major American playwrights, including recent Pulitzer Prize winner John Patrick Shanley. "A New Literacy" explores the changing role of the author in contemporary America, 9 PM May 4 at the New York Public Library.
Should writers still be revered as "authors," or are they merely worker bees producing "content" for media conglomerates?
Exploring these issues will be Shanley (Doubt), John Guare (Six Degrees of Separation, House of Blue Leaves), Eric Bogosian (Talk Radio, SubUrbia), Stephen Adly Guirgis (Jesus Hopped the A Train, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot) and graphic novel author and publisher Jonathan Vankin.
In addition, "A New Literacy" will ponder such questions as: Is fiction these days written simply as a pretext for a future screenplay? Where, exactly, does one find enthusiasm for the written word today? Comic books? Hip-hop lyrics? In the vast universe of the corporate-controlled written word, has the romantic notion of artistry been lost?
The event is part of The New York Public Library's series of public programs, "LIVE from the NYPL," and will be held in the Celeste Bartos Forum of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library (Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street). Tickets are $10 ($7 for Library donor groups) and can be purchased by calling (212) 868-4444 or online at www.smarttix.com.