The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that usually appears Mondays at 12:30pm and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New YorkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please send details to lauren [at] maudnewton.com by the Thursday prior to publication, with the eventÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s date in the subject line.
TUESDAY, 2.13: “An Evening of Russian Poetry. A celebration to launch the publication of The Stray Dog Cabaret: A Book of Poems, translated by Paul Schmidt. The reading will re-create the famous café, where Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Pasternak, and others held forth from 1912-1914. Participants include Linda Gregg (Anna Akhmatova), Honor Moore (Marina Tsvetaeva), Eileen Myles (Vladimir Mayakovsky), Timothy Donnelly (Sergei Esenin and Boris Pasternak), Glyn Maxwell (Osip Mandelstam), Eugene Ostashevsky (Velimir Khlebnikov), and Lloyd Schwartz (Alexander Blok).” So highly recommended it’s ridiculous! 7:30pm, $10. (Thanks to Michelle for the tip!)
WEDNESDAY, 2.14: Says our favorite punk rock lawyer, “this month is a very special dork dj, so special that I’m cutting my LA trip short to come back for it! On Wed., Valentine’s day, at 9pm at Magnetic Field, a once in a lifetime experience: an 80s prom with a pirate theme! A Night to Treasure: Dork DJ 80s Pirate Prom of 2007. Yarrrr, 80s music! Prom King & Queen! Avast! Prom Photos (posted live to Flickr, I believe. . . ). Slow dances to bring out the dork love! Shiver me timbers, ladies’ choice!” 9:00pm, FREE. And, since I’m all about risky propositions, I’ll probably find my way (with all the other Miss Lonelyhearts) to Happy Ending, where Amanda Stern presents an evening with authors Pauls Toutonghi, Lara Tupper and David Evanie, and musical guests The Rosebuds. Doors at 7, show at 8 sharp; FREE.
THURSDAY, 2.15: At Glucksman Ireland House, a screening of Fairy Wife: The Burning of Bridget Cleary: “In March 1895 in a Tipperary village, RIC constables discover a badly burned body in a shallow grave. It is the body of Bridget Cleary, a 26-year old woman who had met her death at the hands of her husband only days before. His motive? He believed she had been taken away by the fairies. . . Based upon a true story; the book, The Burning of Bridget Cleary by Angela Bourke, was published in 1999.” 7:00pm, “No advance tickets. Free admission to members of Glucksman Ireland House and to all NYU students/faculty/staff with a valid NYU ID card. All others $10 suggested donation at the door. In order to ensure a seat, please RSVP to 212.998.3950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.” And, in the freaky value category, Matthew Ryan and Tim Easton play a ten dollar show at Mercury Lounge, but maybe it makes sense that a couple of underrated alt-country singer-songwriters wearing their battered hearts on whiskey-soaked sleeves would get less than they deserve from this mixed-up world. Certainly, sad songs have been written over more minor tragedies. 7:30pm.
FRIDAY, 2.16: “Paragraph is thrilled to host a reading with Jonathan Dee and Eva Lou. Please join us for an awe inspiring night of fiction. Reading followed by a wine and cheese reception. Free and open to the public. Jonathan Dee is the author of the novels Palladio, St. Famous, The Liberty Campaign, and The Lover of History. He is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, a frequent literary critic for Harper’s, and a former Senior Editor of The Paris Review . . . Eva Lou was born in Taiwan. Her poems have been collected in Movin’, an anthology of young poets. Her first book Rapture/d’extases, a collection of short stories in a bilingual edition, has been published by the Parisian publisher Editions Lanore.” 8:00pm, FREE.
SATURDAY, 2.17: At the Guggenheim, “Family Pictures explores the representation of families and children in contemporary photography and video. Since its inception in the mid-19th century, photography has always been used to represent the bonds of family, whether through portraiture or documents of important milestones like weddings. In these images, fleeting moments of childhood are captured and preserved, and the family unit is fixed for posterity.” (Thanks to Kevin for the tip!) In Jersey City, Kayte Hester Lent: Black Tape… “Celebrate the wonders of masking tape with Kayt Hester Lent’s new work on the Museum’s front window. The Jersey City artist will install one of her signature tape pieces, which range in subject matter from family portraits to images of favorite pets to abstract designs.”
SUNDAY, 2.18: “There is nothing more distasteful than a so-called poet’s reading, Reger said, there is hardly anything I detest more, but none of those people see anything wrong in reading their rubbish everywhere. Not a single person is basically interested in what these people have scavenged on their literary marauding expeditions, but they read it all the same, they get up on the stage and they read it and they bow to every half-witted town councillor and to every dull-witted village mayor and to every jackanapes of a professor of German, Reger said.” —Thomas Bernhard, Old Masters. At KGB, a reading tribute to Thomas Bernhard. Genius! “writers Wayne Koestenbaum, Rhonda Lieberman, Ben Marcus, Geoffrey O’Brien and Dale Peck will read selections from Bernhard masterpieces including Old Masters, Correction, Yes, Gathering Evidence and others, and discuss their encounters with his work.” 7:00pm, FREE.
This week’s soundtrack: Simone White, “the beep beep song.”