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Marguerite Duras

“Writing is to write for oneself.”

Marguerite Duras, Me & Other Writing:
A new collection of non-fiction essays, translated for the first time into English by Olivia Baes and Emma Ramadan.
Introduction by Dan Gunn.

dorothyproject.com/book/me-other-writing/

“The entire countryside trembles with cold.”

— Jules Renard, Journal, January 1905

Call for Papers • Tennessee Philological Association Conference,  23-25 February 2017
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TPA Panel: Samuel Beckett’s Bodies of Water. Design: Rhys Tranter
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Samuel Beckett

In Samuel Beckett’s canon, water is a recurring image. In his radio play, Embers, the protagonist Henry tells us that he is sitting by the ocean, in his stage play Endgame Nagg and Nell remember nearly drowning in Lake Como, and in his tour de force stage and later television play, Not I Mouth refers to the narrative gushing from her mouth as a “steady stream.” Water in these and other works by the Nobel Prize winning author is both a location and a metaphor; it is aligned with happy memories and danger, with transition and stasis, with the beginning and the end.

Professor Katherine Weiss is seeking scholars interested in exploring the images of bodies of water in Beckett’s canon to be considered for a panel proposal to the 2017 Tennessee Philological Association Conference to be held in Johnson City, TN during 23-25 February 2017. For more about TPA, visit their website.

Abstracts should be no more than 250 words. To submit, please email Professor Katherine Weiss weisk01@etsu.edu with your abstract by 7 November 2016.

A call for papers for a panel at the upcoming ACLA conference in Utrecht, July 2017
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Samuel Beckett’s passport photographs.

Neil Doshi and James McNaughton are putting together a panel entitled ‘International Beckett’ for next year’s ACLA conference at Universiteit Utrecht, Netherlands. The seminar will comprise 8-12 participants, meeting for 2 hours on each of the conference’s 3 days. You will present a 20 minute paper, and then have an opportunity to discuss your work with likeminded scholars and enthusiasts. (more…)

Beckett, Samuel - Schriftsteller, Irland
Samuel Beckett. Photograph: Erika Rabau.

“Stuttgart airport. Check-in. You have a first-class ticket. ‘Would you like to go through to the Senator-Lounge?’ You look down at your parka, look at me: ‘Do we look like senators?!’”

– Walter Asmus on Samuel Beckett, ‘Farewell Beckett’ in the Journal of Beckett Studies, Vol. 19 (April 2010).

“The Novel That Took Marguerote Duras to the Edge of Fiction and Sanity”

To the extent that she is familiar to Americans, Marguerite Duras is known for Hiroshima mon amour, the 1959 screenplay she wrote for Alain Resnais. Among its other accomplishments, that film has the distinction of being the anti-singularity of modern cinematic language, an originary limit point that acknowledges how the immense weight of an immediate and incomprehensibly violent past has broken the time of the present and preemptively attacked the future. One would have thought that Duras’ contribution, which did earn her an Oscar nomination, would have hardened her legacy in this country. But her tendency, in her near-perfect later films and fiction, to work at the edge of narrative, along with a basic American negligence — an irony given that American postmodern writers would co-opt her techniques to weakened effect — has obscured her importance. The situation is compounded in the literary present, which joins supposedly disparate political camps in their frenzy for positive identification. Duras instead wrote identification slantwise; she wasn’t offering an anti-self so much as a refusal to offer. She isn’t Yeats; she’s Duras. (more…)

Justine Jordan (The Guardian) reviews a fictional recreation of Samuel Beckett’s life

Amid all the Jane Austen reboots and ripoffs, Jo Baker’s 2013 debut Longbourn, which developed the events of Pride and Prejudice from the servants’ perspective, seemed restrained yet revelatory. Fresh, fascinating and beautifully achieved, it was that rare beast: a critical success with wide commercial appeal. What would one expect from the follow-up? Probably not a re-creation of Samuel Beckett’s war years, from his desperation to leave the Ireland that stifled him, through his time in occupied Paris working for the resistance and escape to the south after being betrayed to the Nazis, to his postwar job helping set up a French hospital. And always, through danger, penury and privation, the compulsion to continue with writing that doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere, that he is driven to produce, as a writer friend puts it, like snails make slime.

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University of London • 26-28 May 2016

Samuel Beckett: Performance/Art/Writing
Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London
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