Duras 21: Approaches to the Prose of Marguerite Duras for this Century

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Robert L. Mazzola / Independent Scholar
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Special Topic Session for Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Conference, 2010

Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 14-16, 2010

Title: Duras 21: Approaches to the Prose of Marguerite Duras for this Century


One decade into the 21st Century, what is the state of Durassian prose studies? This session will examine critical approaches to the fiction (roman, récit) of Marguerite Duras sixteen years after her death. From the early novels to the later narratives, how may postmodernist aesthetics (1), deontologies (2), and epistemologies (3) be applied to her writings? What shifts, if any, in these sorts of critical approaches can be discerned and what may be the continuing relevance of earlier critiques to an evolving view of Duras' écriture? Identifying the problematics of new and/versus older approaches to the prose content and the prose style of her texts should introduce the question of what role stylistics plays in considerations particular to the axis of philosophy and postmodern culturalism.

Preliminary questions:

1. What would an aesthetic approach to Duras' prose look like? How to quantify it?

2. Is Duras an ethical (both slants of the term) writer? In postmodern worlds, what does her ethics look like?

3. Is Marguerite Duras a "knowledge builder"? Is she concerned with knowing? At what levels?

Obviously, these three questions do not exhaust the approach outlined above. They are meant to be suggestive and to lend thematic coherence to the session.

While submissions may reference the plays and films, their emphasis should be on the novels and narratives.

A 300-word abstract should be emailed to:

Submission Deadline: March 1, 2010

Robert L. Mazzola

Denver, Colorado