Yesterday at the Museum das Ciências Naturais in Lisboa, for 2 euros, you could listen to Don DeLillo, John Coetzee, Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt reading from their last works. More or less 15 minutes each, the real them, standing there, just reading.
Except Coetzee, who brought 3 sheets of paper, all of them read from their printed work. None of them stumbled even once, DeLillo and Coetzee never looked at us during the reading, Auster and Hustvedt did, Hustvedt read dramatically, working for comic effect, which she achieved.
Coetzee was the only one not to use glasses. The audience was of more or less 150 people. António Damásio was there. Paulo Branco, the host, didn't introduce anybody. He repeated thrice that taking pictures was forbidden.
Why this strange list? I can't explain why. The lectures had everything to be great, were interesting, and Hustvedt was fun. All the same, the high wall being kept so high, the whole thing felt stingy.