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LM events at the Bath Literature Festival

Culture for the New Millennium - accessibility and excellence
Saturday 26 February
Banqueting Room
The millennium has become a cultural watershed - seen as a time when the elitism of the past can be exchanged for the inclusiveness of the future. But this raises some important questions. Are elites a thing of the past - or is British artistic life now ruled by a new elite of marketing experts and professional egalitarians. Are artists and audiences in safe hands? What price artistic integrity when the audience (or perception of the audience) is sovereign?
We welcome George Walden, incisive writer and broadcaster, Roger Wright, controller of Radio 3, and Gillian Reynolds - the first woman programme controller of a commercial radio station and writer on broadcasting and the arts - to discuss the issues and tensions in culture as the arts become more inclusive.

From Optimism to Pessimism: the public perception of science from the 18th to the 20th century
Saturday 26 February
Brunswick Room

Is Britain - once the home of scientists such as Newton and Darwin - now turning its back on science? Fears raised by GM foods and the BSE debacle have led to a clamorous rejection of much that science can offer - but do we run the risk of throwing the baby out with the bath water? Why has this wholesale rejection of much that science can offer come about - and how can confidence in science be restored?
Lord David Puttnam teases out the issues with Professor Susan Greenfield and Dr Frank Furedi. Susan Greenfield is director of the Royal Institution. Her interest in science policy led to a consultative seminar to Tony Blair at Downing Street; she has also recently made a major six-part series on the brain and the mind for BBC2. Frank Furedi's recently published Culture of Fear deals with the growing fear of risk and the tendency for society to problematise science and technology.

Online Debate on Internet Censorship
Sunday 5 March

Some bemoan the internet as being full of porn, racism and offensive images - but it is the first uncensored medium in history, and you can't have one without the other. So should we just grit our teeth and turn a blind eye to some of the worst excesses - the pornography and the hate speech? Is it the price we must pay for publishing freedom? Or should there be some form of regulation - to protect children and the vulnerable?

Paul Lavin, who writes for Internet magazine, Ruth Dixon of Internet Watch Foundation, Chris Ellison, founder of the cyber rights campaign, Internet Freedom, and Nigel Williams, founder and director of Childnet International, will be there to discuss the thorny issues which have resulted from the ease with which anybody can now publish and display their thoughts and opinions.

Just listen in - or take part by typing in your own opinions. For further details, email Brendan O'Neill at brendan@mail.informinc.co.uk

Running from 26 February to 5 March, the Bath Festival also includes readings, debates and performance from leading authors, poets, journalists, filmmakers and storytellers. Susie Orbach will discuss the compulsion to confess with Petronella Wyatt and Jane Hawking; Maureen Freely will explore the blurring of fact and fiction with John Sweeney and Paul Watson; Nicholas Blincoe will discuss drugs in literature from Coleridge to the chemical generation - with Kevin Williamson, Daren King and Richard Rudgley.

Online the first Bath Virtual Literature Festival will take place, with debates, collaborative writing projects, critical commentary, games and chat. For further information and a brochure, email info@bathlitfest.org.uk, call 01225 463 362, or take a look at the website www.bathlitfest.org.uk

English PEN Spring Events

Great Expectations
Wednesday 9 Feb 7.30pm at the Irish Club 82 Eaton Square SW1
Tickets 5 from English PEN
Tel: 020 7352 6303

Does publishing a first book have the same impact as dropping a feather down the Grand Canyon? Peter Ho Davies was born in 1966 to Welsh and Chinese parents. His first collection of short stories, The Ugliest House in the World, won the Macmillan Silver Pen Award and the John Llewllyn Rhys/Mail on Sunday Prize. His new collection of stories, Equal Love, is published in February. Zadie Smith is twenty-four years old, half Jamaican and half English. Her first book, White Teeth, an intelligent and hilarious saga of ethnic identity and family ties, has just been published to universally rave reviews. Salman Rushdie's jacket blurb enthuses 'astonishingly assured debut, funny and serious. I was delighted and often impressed'. Francine Stock is best known as a presenter on Newsnight, The Antique's Show and Radio 4's Front Row. Her first book, A Foreign Country, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award. Chaired by Philip Hensher, novelist, art critic, reviewer and classical music expert.

Saturday 8 April 2000 at The English Centre of International PEN, The Cafe Royal, Piccadilly Circus, 10.30am sharp

10.30am David Hare, 'Why fabulate?'
Chair: Blake Morrison

11.45am Coffee Break

12.15pm Presentation of the annual PEN Awards
- the best short story collection
- the best non-fiction book
- the best biography
- the Gold Pen Award for distinguished service to literature

1.30pm Luncheon (ticket holders only)

2.45pm International speaker: Mavis Gallant
The legendary Canadian-born author, resident in Paris since 1950, renowned as an unrivalled storyteller, essayist, contributor to the New Yorker, prose stylist and political commentator.

4.30pm Tea

Lectures, Awards and Coffee 16
Lectures and Awards 6 (with proof of student status)
Lectures, Awards, Coffee, Lunch 48
(Light lunches may be purchased at the Cafe Royal Brasserie).

Tickets available from The English Centre of PEN, 7 Dilke Street, London SW3 4JE. Tel: 020 7352 6303 (Please include a stamped addressed envelope)

Failing Better
Wednesday 8th March 7.30 pm, The Irish Club, 82 Eaton Square SW1
Tickets 5
Tel 020 7352 6303

Can contemporary fiction cope with the modern world? A panel of some of English literature's finest minds and finest practitioners set the agenda for the future of storytelling and the written word, in a world where the boundaries between fact and fiction, virtual and real, writer and reader, are collapsing.

The panel of writers: Gilbert Adair, AS Byatt, Tibor Fischer, Matt Thorne, Chair: Lawrence Norfolk

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