2015-2016 Seminar Series

Each academic year, the various projets de recherche within IDEA hold seminars relevant to their interdisciplinary projects. While the themes of these seminars change, they represent the main research thrusts of the team on the whole.

For the academic year 2015-2016, IDEA offered the following lectures as part of its “Seminar Series.”

Mardi, 20 octobre 2015

18h-19h30, salle A313 (Nancy)

“Éléments d’axiocritique : Prolégomènes à l’étude du texte et de l’image”,

Michel Morel (émérite, Université de Lorraine)

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 Ce discours vise à prendre en compte les récentes investigations et découvertes neurologiques concernant le jugement préconscient immédiat. L’idée d’une “axiocritique” – fondée sur l’observation et l’étude de ce qui déclenche nos jugements de valeur dans le texte écrit aussi bien que dans notre environnement et donc dans le “texte” socioculturel – paraît répondre à cette situation nouvelle qui conduit à redéfinir la notion de distance critique. L’enquête est menée sur la base d’écrits français et anglais.

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 Mardi, 24 novembre 2015

18h-20h, salle J09 (Nancy)

“Literary Journalism and the Spanish Civil War”

“Josep Pla et le canon du journalisme littéraire en Espagne”

Xavier Pla, Universitat de Girona

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“At the Crossroads of Literary Journalism in Spain: Eyewitness Accounts and Collective Memory of the Civil War in Murcia”

Margarita Navarro Pérez, Universidad Católica San Antonio de MurciaMargaritaIMG_3411

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Au printemps 1924, Paul Valéry donne une conférence à l’Ateneu de Barcelone. Pour une fois, il n’est pas venu parler de poésie, mais de prose, et, curieusement, il ne parle pas de littérature française, mais provençale. Valéry affirme qu’une littérature reposant uniquement sur la poésie se convertirait inévitablement en une littérature moribonde. Et il donne comme exemple la littérature provençale qui, après avoir donné une extraordinaire poésie médiévale, ne put jamais ouvrir sur une grande littérature de la Renaissance. «Eloignez-vous des Provençaux, aurait-il dit, et cultivez la prose, cultivez systématiquement toutes les formes de prose.»

Dans le public, il y a un jeune journaliste nommé Josep Pla (1897-1981). Jamais il n’oubliera les paroles de Valéry. En ces années-là, Pla cache ses origines paysannes, s’habille comme un dandy, cherche à entrer dans le corps diplomatique, voyage frénétiquement à travers l’Europe entière, veut écrire comme Paul Morand. Ambitieux, il sait déjà combiner un particularisme cosmopolite, provocateur et intelligent, avec un usage moderne et efficace de la langue catalane, loin du régionalisme folklorique et du patriotisme post-romantique de l’époque. Sa première œuvre, publiée l’année suivante, empreinte son titre à Victor Hugo, “Coses vistes” (Choses vues). Le livre est un succès, la critique célèbre avec ferveur l’apparition d’une nouvelle voix.

Constituée essentiellement de faux journaux intimes, de récits pseudo-autobiographiques, de récits de voyage plus ou moins vraisemblables, de portraits, de chroniques politiques et de biographies, l’œuvre de Josep Pla est un exemple du meilleur journalisme littéraire hispanique, aux côtés de Gaziel, Julio Camba ou Manuel Chaves Nogales.

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Sarah Parratt has noted in Literary Journalism across the Globe that Spanish journalist José Acosta Montoro’s induction speech into the Real Academia Española, he “claim[ed] 1845 to be the year when literary journalism was first publicly acknowledged in Spain” (134). As in many European countries at the time, there little distinguished belle-lettres from journalism, though political changes brought upon by war altered the directions both would take throughout the next century. Although WW 1 had a significant impact on the separation of literature and journals in Spain, with the result being the birth of the modern Spanish novel, the Spanish Civil War can arguably be claimed as the defining moment of literary journalism in Spain.

This presentation proposes an alternative way of looking into Spanish journalism during the Civil War, exploring memories of those who lived to tell their stories and were willing to do so. In this paper, I will present the preliminary sketch of what will become a more extensive study of different perceptions and representations of the war in Spain. I will, therefore, consider both eyewitness accounts and those passed on to later generations by both Republicans and Nationalists, looking into how these recollections combine with contemporary representations to form a collective memory of this historical moment. Based on personal interviews with several surviving eyewitnesses and their recollections of what they read in the press per what they actually experienced, this talk argues that literary journalism, in particular during times of war, can also be created by those who are not actually doing the writing. Juxtaposing personal accounts of the war that have not yet been recorded against those accounts that were documented in the press help to demonstrate the notion that literary journalism is more than a written genre – it is also a lived experience shared between people and generations and thus recoverable only through oral documentation. Moreover, these testimonies combine with media representations to fuel the collective memory of contemporary Spain.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

18h – 20h

Room A 309

 

“Prismatic Translation”

Matthew Reynolds
University of Oxford, St Anne’s College,
Director of the Oxford Center for Comparative Translation (OCCT)

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Translation can be seen as producing a text in one language that will count as equivalent to a text in another. It can also be seen as a release of multiple signifying possibilities, an opening of the source text to Language in all its plurality. The first view is underpinned by the regime of standard languages which can be lined up in bilingual dictionaries, by the technology of the printed book, and by the need for regulated communication in political and legal contexts. The second view attaches to circumstances where language is not standardised (eg minority & dialectal communities & oral cultures), to the fluidity of electronic text, and to literature, especially poetry and theatrical performance. The first view sees translation as a channel; the second as a prism. Of course the prismatic possibilities of translation have long been recognised. But they have tended to be explained in ways that implicitly reinforce the channel view: as being caused by historical and cultural factors (reception studies); by differences of purpose (skopos theory); or by the particular semantic richness of poetry which can lead to the view that the translation of poetry is quite different from ‘translation proper’. None of these approaches sufficiently takes the weight of the fact that a source text is inherently multiplicitous and translation is therefore inevitably plural.Print has some power to represent the plurality of translation (early modern editions of the classics are fertile in this respect). Still, the regime of print has, on the whole, held prismatic translation back. But new media nourish it, both because the web makes visible many non-standard ways of using language, and because hypertext offers new means for representing textual multiplicity. In consequence, both the practice of translation and the way it is thought about have to change.Prismatic translation has potential:1. As a way of reading source texts. When you look closely at translations into multiple languages what is revealed about the source, its hidden complications, its universalities, its particularities?2. As a means to understand linguistic and cultural difference. Looking closely at multiple translations reveals difference at the micro level: this is a mode of telescopic reading in comparative literature which pushes against Moretti’s distant reading and connects interestingly to recent developments in cognitive cultural studies.3. As leading to new thinking about the relation between translation and creation (since to produce multiplicity is to create), and therefore to new understanding of translation per se.
Thursday, 17 March 2016

18h – 20h

Room A 309

“Hemingway vs. Gellhorn and concerns the rivalry on the D-Day beaches and in the pages of Collier’s magazine”

Kate McLoughlin, University of Oxford, Harris Manchester College

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Journalism has always favored eyewitness accounts of war from those who were actually there, from those who risked there lives along with the soldiers. And since women have often been denied access to the war fronts, female war correspondents have historically been marginalized in favor of male journalists’ accounts of war. Martha Gellhorn, of course, challenged that sexism with her dispatches from the Spanish Civil War and WW 2, but when Colliers’ magazine pitted her reports against her husband’s, Ernest Hemingway, she was once again made to be a “woman” war correspondent.

Even in the recounting of the taking of the Normandy beaches, Colliers‘ privileged those dispatches submitted by Hemingway over those of Gellhorn, though it is likely that Gellhorn actually stepped foot on the beaches a couple days after the initial push, whereas Hemingway never left the landing craft. Consequently, when Hemingway speaks of how “we” took the beach, he is cleverly including himself among the fray, and Colliers’ did nothing to correct that impression. Gellhorn’s “we” was more authentic as she helped transport the wounded back to England, although her heroics are greatly diminished in the same magazine, which chose to lead with Hemingway’s story instead.

Tuesday, 26 May 2016

18h – 20h

Room A 309

Reportage and the Spanish Civil War: Orwell, Cockburn, Romilly and ODonnell

Alberto Lázaro, Univesidad de Alcalá

 

 

Alberto Lázaro, a specialist on literary journalism and the Spanish Civil War, looks at four journalists who covered the conflict and how their eye-witness accounts fluctuate between journalistic referenciality (Orwell) and literary fabulation (Cockburn, Romilly and O’Donnell).

Given the present climate in Spain to review the war’s history, it is imperative that scholars using these text to reconstruct the facts erased by the Franco regime recognize as well how certain authors colored the facts in their various books, making these “reportages” nearly as dangerous as Franco’s version of recounting the “truth” of the war.