Literary Texts: The Power and the Possible

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CIRLEP / Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne
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University of Reims-Champagne-Ardenne, France
International Conference: 17 and 18 May 2013
Literary Texts: The Power and the Possible
What happens when a writer starts experimenting with language? Isn't there always the temptation of being James Joyce, even in the case of classical writers? What exactly is the invention of a style, that is a personal assemblage of words that creates new relationships with language, the world, and meaning? The conference will focus on the interpretation of literary texts. A text can be read according to a continuum ranging from what Spinoza called potestas (the text tries to control the reader's body and/or mind, it limits his/her semantic complexity) and potentia (the text helps us discover new possibilities of life, it leads to cognition rather than recognition, it increases our semantic complexity). A similar distinction is provided by the usual French translations of the Nietzschean concept of Macht which can be rendered either as pouvoir or puissance. Papers will provide a theoretical approach based on a critical analysis of one or several literary texts showing how a writer's experiment with words alters the production of meaning and of its implications. A selection of papers will be published in the journal Imaginaire.

Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne
57 rue Pierre Taittinger
51096 Reims cedex


contact: Dr. Daniel Thomières