full name / name of organization:
Bordeaux Montaigne University France
Université Bordeaux Montaigne, France
E.A. CLIMAS (Cultures et Littératures des Mondes Anglophones), U.M.R. EEE (Europe Européanité Européanisation) and E.A. CLARE (Cultures Littératures Arts Représentations Esthétiques)
Reassessing DYLAN THOMAS : Territories and legacies
on 13, 14 November 2014
Keynote speaker: Professor M. Wynn Thomas, BA, FBA, OBE
2014 marks the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas, de facto national poet of Wales. Our conference aims at reassessing the inscription of Dylan Thomas’s work in the Welsh territory and beyond, and at exploring the ways in which his oeuvre has influenced other artists in his lifetime and after.
Thomas’s life and writing are rife with contradictions. This non-Welsh speaker was clearly at ease with his Welshness, and loving to the point of idolatry the landscapes of his homeland. Yet there are no traces in Dylan Thomas’s work of national pride, nor of political self-deprecation; there is no national defensiveness nor defence of his homeland, but instead a rooted knowledge and non-exclusive love of the people and places of his birthplace and growth. Longing to flee the nets of family, country and religion, he needed the stimulus and opportunities of London culture, but he always returned to Wales and did all his work as a writer there. A preserved sense of the childhood intimacy with the natural world led him to explore the individual's mysterious relationship, reassuring yet daunting, to the world around him. His pagan feeling for a green world took him most consciously behind but also well beyond Welsh surfaces and styles.
This tension between the local and the universal is but one of the ambivalences of Dylan’s thought and vision of the world. Interested in the continuing process of life and death, and in the links between generations, Thomas’s poetry insists on producing unity out of diversity, seeing life and death as an ongoing ritualistic cycle. What is more, his richness of meaning is associated with an often illogical and revolutionary syntax, which makes for often obscure poems. Conversely, the potential for transformation and transmission in his works is very strong as is proved by the fact that they have been abundantly translated and are still performed today in diverse forms.
Papers are welcome in areas such as political, cultural and identity studies, literature and especially eco-literature, poetry and poetics, film studies, music and performance studies, translation studies.
Please send a 300 word summary and a short CV to: DylanThomas100@u-bordeaux3.fr
Deadline : 31 March 2014