NABOKV-L post 0022908, Fri, 1 Jun 2012 13:23:43 -0400

CFP: Nabokov Society of France 2013 conference (1 Sept 2012
Dear List,
Here is the call for papers for the 'Nabokov and France' conference that
will take place in Paris next year. It will be the first conference
organized by the French Nabokov Society, founded last year. For more
information about the French Nabokov Society please visit our website:
Best wishes,
Monica Manolescu
University of Strasbourg



An International Conference organised by Chercheurs Enchantés, Société
française Vladimir Nabokov
30th, 31st May and 1st June 2013

Université Paris IV-Sorbonne, Université de Strasbourg, B.P.I (Centre
Pompidou) and Ecole Normale Supérieure

Who, nowadays, would think of calling Vladimir Nabokov « The Frenchman
», in the wake of his literary forefather, the Russian poet Aleksandr
Pushkin ? Outlandish and excessive as this name might appear, Nabokov
did entertain with the French language and culture an intense and
fruitful relationship, which specialists of his work have tended to
neglect. Scarcely considered by Anglo-American scholars and almost
entirely absent from Russian scholarship, this multifaceted relationship
has aroused the interest of a handful of French scholars, who have
devoted some pioneering – but often little known – essays to its
analysis. Forays into the topic prove that a mine lies in this area, one
which invites valuable intersections between various fields (American,
Slavonic, Comparative, French Studies) and approaches (linguists,
narratologists, philologists, translators and artists). Since one of the
aims of The Enchanted Researchers, or French Vladimir Nabokov Society i!
s to promote interdisciplinary junctions, our wish is to follow this
exploration to its deepest extent, through our very first conference,
due to take place in Paris from Thursday 30th May to Saturday 1st June

It must be noted that biographical matters – from Nabokov’s learning of
the French language in Russia to his three years of exile in France –
have already been largely examined and will not feature within the
mining area of this international conference. After all, was it not
Nabokov himself who declared to Bernard Pivot that the story of his life
looked less « like a biography than like a bibliography » ? Our interest
for this conference therefore revolves specifically around the
interaction between his œuvre and the French landscape. Four main lines
of study have been envisaged within this perspective.

One approach – perhaps the most obvious – consists in analyzing French
intertexts in Nabokov’s work, more specifically the influence of French
texts, either philosophical or literary, on his prose and poetry. One
should keep in mind the fact that Nabokov preferred to “talk about
modern books that he hated from the start” rather than about the books
that had influenced him, so the various analyses may wish to explore the
question of models and heritage, but also of counter-models and

Another perspective will consist in studying the ways in which Nabokov
used the French language, with a focus both on the texts he wrote in
French and on the role and meaning of this language in his Russian and
American novels. Conference participants are encouraged to tackle
narrative and stylistic issues as well as the influence of French on the
construction of discourses, voices, points of view and syntax.

A third angle, cultural in nature, will deal with the representation of
French people and French spaces in Nabokov’s novels. Nabokov’s French
imaginary may lead one to ponder upon the presence of cultural clichés
and stereotypes in his novels or, perhaps, on the novelty and
originality of his cultural constructions of Frenchness.

Finally, another approach may bring to the fore Nabokov’s posterity in
the French cultural landscape, by examining questions as diverse as
translation and translation studies, the specificity of French critical
discourse on Nabokov, French adaptatiopera), but also his influence (more or less explicit) on the work of
French writers, artists and composers.

The two keynote speakers of the conference will be Maurice Couturier
(University of Nice) and Michael Wood (Princeton University).

Papers can be given in either English or French. Conference proposals of
up to 300 words should be accompanied by a short biographical note and
should be sent by September 1st 2012 to both and

Organization and scientific board:

Yannicke Chupin (Université de Franche-Comté), member of VALE (EA 4085),
Lara Delage-Toriel (Université de Strasbourg), member of SEARCH (EA
Agnès Derail-Imbert (Paris IV-Sorbonne et ENS-Ulm), member of VALE (EA
Agnès Edel-Roy (Paris 3 – Sorbonne nouvelle)
Monica Manolescu (Université de Strasbourg), member of SEARCH (EA 2325)

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