VALE : Voix Anglophones Littérature et Esthétique
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SEM VALE: Conférence de Peter Boxall, « Proust, Joyce, Beckett », 07/02/19 à 17h30

7 février 2019 - 17 h 30 min - 19 h 00 min

Nous avons le plaisir de vous inviter à la prochaine séance du séminaire VALE qui se déroulera le jeudi 7 février à 17h30 (bibliothèque de l’UFR).

Nous y entendrons Peter Boxall (University of Sussex; Professeur invité, Sorbonne Université) pour une présentation intitulée :

“All twined together: Proust, Joyce, Beckett”.


This paper addresses Beckett’s reception of Joyce and Proust, in terms of the ways in which all three writers account for the relation between mind and its various biopolitical extensions. Marcel writes, in Proust’s A la recherche, that the ‘contradiction of survival and annihilation’ are ‘strangely intertwined within me’, and this twining is central to Proust’s imaginative apparatus. It is a central aim also of Joyce’s work to give aesthetic expression to the weaving of material forms around the ‘impalpable, imperishable’ movement of mind, in order to test the tensile strength of what Joyce calls the ‘strandentwining cable of all flesh’.

This paper will explore this twining in Proust and in Joyce, as it works through Beckett’s writing, from Dream of Fair to Middling Women to Worstward Ho. The work of Joyce and Proust is ‘all twined together’ in Beckett, in such a way that it offers his work one of its key binding principles. The commingling of mind and matter in Beckett’s imagination is won from this joint legacy from Proust and Joyce. But to fully respond to this twining in all three writers it is necessary to understand how the forms of attachment that it enacts between mind and material – what Beckett calls in Proust (after Baudelaire) the ‘adequate union of subject and object’ – turns also around a form of dismantlement, a falling into what Proust calls the ‘abyss of nonbeing’, and what Beckett calls ‘the blessedness of absence’. Beckett’s work refuses some of the consolatory forms developed in Proust and Joyce, exhibiting a greater scepticism concerning the power of the artwork to overcome the oppositions that it witnesses between the material and the imaginary; but in so doing it develops the logic of binding that drives Joyce and Proust to its ultimate conclusion. It is in Beckett’s reconceiving of Proust’s and Joyce’s aesthetics of binding and twining that the modernist body – machinic amalgam of mind and matter, of animate and inanimate – finds its definitive expression.


Date :
7 février 2019
Heure :
17 h 30 min - 19 h 00 min
Catégories d’Évènement:
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Bibliothèque UFR d’études anglophones
1, rue victor Cousin


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