CFP: [20th] CFP: Paul Bowles Reconsidered (NeMLA; 9/15/08; 2/26-3/1/09)

full name / name of organization: 
Andrew Martino
contact email: 

NeMLA Panel: Paul Bowles Reconsidered

40th Anniversary Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association
February 26-March 1, 2009
Hyatt Regencyâ€"Boston Massachusetts

On November 18, 1999, Paul Bowles died in a Tangier hospital of apparent
heart failure; he was eighty-eight years old. Bowles was a cultural
figure existing on the margins of what Gertrude Stein labeled “the lost
generation.” As a result of his death (which came so fittingly at the
end of the twentieth century, at the end of the millennium) it can be
argued that literary modernism has finally crossed the threshold into
history. In an article for The New York Times, James Halpern, editorial
director for The Ecco Press and a close friend of Bowles, called him “the
last existentialist,” which indeed he may have been. When existentialism
fell out of fashion Bowles continued to believe in a world that was
totally determined by one’s own actions. Bowles was an individual who
spent the most of his life (some fifty years) living in the Morocco. He
was a musician, a writer, a teacher, a translator, and a guru. Bowles
was a living testament to a generation whose fundamental ontological
condition was “being at home in the not at home.” Driven by this anxiety
to “keep moving,” to keep traveling, he chose to dwell in an alien
landscape much different from his native Northeastern United States, and
the confining puritanical nature of his New England heritage in
particular.

Although Paul Bowles is an important figure in twentieth century American
literature, he is still relatively underappreciated in the United
States. Gore Vidal has remarked that Bowles writes “as if Moby-Dick had
never been written.” Yet, Bowles’s work remains conspicuously absent
from college syllabi. The purpose of this panel is to reconsider the
work of Paul Bowles from within and beyond the context of the American
literary tradition. Papers on any aspect of his work are welcome, but I
am especially interested in papers that examine his musical compositions,
translations, as well as his problematic relationship with the Islamic
world.

Abstracts are due by September 15, 2008

Please include:
Name and affiliation
Email address
Postal Address
A/V requirements

Please send all abstracts to panel chair:
Andrew Martino, Ph.D.
Department of English
Southern New Hampshire University
2500 North River Road
Manchester, New Hampshire 03106
a.martino_at_snhu.edu

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Received on Tue Jun 10 2008 - 12:22:16 EDT