The epic’s extension today: between expansion and extinction.


October 21st-23rd 2010, EA 741, Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier, France.

« The epic’s extension today: between expansion and extinction »
« L’épopée aujourd’hui : entre expansion et extinction, son extension »
Colloque international, Montpellier les 21, 22 & 23 octobre 2010
October 21st

Morning : room/ salle C 020

  •  9.30: opening of the conference/ ouverture du colloque par Guy Dugas,
    directeur de l’IRIEC (équipe d’accueil 740) et Christine Reynier, directrice
    d’EMMA (équipe d’accueil 741).

    9.45-11:

    Chair/ Modérateur : Bénédicte CHORIER-FRYD

  •  Elizabeth MULLER (Université de Nantes) “The Greek Epos: Fighting against
    Death, Gods and Destiny”
  •  John HOLMES (University of Reading):”The Pagan Worldview in Contemporary
    English Poetry: Ted Hughes, Christopher Logue and Classical Epic”
  •  Stefanie SCHÄFER (Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena): “Personal epic(s):
    Metageneric reflections on the epic in the contemporary American novel”

    11-11.20: pause café/ coffee break

    11.20-13:

    Chair/ Modérateur: Gérard SIARY

  •  Fadi KHODR (Doctorant, Université Paris III) « Vers une épochê de l’épopée?
    »
  •  Marie-Françoise LEMONNIER-DELPY (Université/IUFM de Rouen) « La question du
    foisonnement dans l’épopée du XXème siècle »
  •  Sylvain DOURNEL (Doctorant, Université Paris XIII) « Un épique d’époque :
    l’épopée selon Saint-John Perse »
  •  Delphine RUMEAU (Université de Toulouse 2 ­ Le Mirail): « Mobile de Michel
    Butor, ou l’Amérique comme lieu épique de la poésie française »

    13-14.30: déjeuner/ lunch break

    14.30-16.10:

    Afternoon : Salle des Commissions

    Chair/ Modérateur: Vincent DUSSOL

  •  Gérard SIARY (Université de Montpellier III): « L’épopée et la révolution
    russe : avatars des récits et relance de l’épique »
  •  Béatrice TROTIGNON (Université Paris 9) : « A la recherche d’une voie/voix
    épique perdue : The California Poem de Eleni Sikelianos »
  •  Lambert BARTHÉLÉMY (Université de Poitiers): « “The Song remains the same.”
    Lancinance de l’épique dans les romans de Claude Simon et Antonio Lobo
    Antunes, ainsi que dans Non, ou la veine gloire de commander de Manoel de
    Oliveira »
  •  Jaap VAN DER BENT (Radboud University, Nijmegen): "Beat epic”

    16.10 -16.30: coffee break/ pause café

    16.30-18:

    Chair/ Modérateur: Will MONTGOMERY

  •  Jeff ROHNER-TENSEE (Ph. D candidate, York University, Toronto) “The Poem of
    Power: Atwood’s Governmental Epic”
  •  Amélie MOISY (Université de Paris-Est Créteil): “Comme Ulysse en Géorgie: A
    Man in Full, de Tom Wolfe”
  •  Julien SÉGURA (Doctorant, Université de Strasbourg II): "The American epos,
    19- /02 (or when did Barton Barton Barton Barton and Barton ?)": L’épique
    ouvert et critique des Maximus Poems de Charles Olson
    18.15-19: lecture de poésie/ poetry reading
  •  Jean-Paul AUXEMÉRY
  •  Eleni SIKELIANOS

    October 22nd

    Salle des Commissions all day

    9-10.30:

    Chair/ Modérateur: Michel BANDRY

  •  Nausica ZABALLOS SALVADOR (Université Paris IV): “Standing all alone against
    everyone else: in search of the untold intimate and universal truth, or a
    pastiche of the epic in Percival Everett’s American Desert.”
  •  Bénédicte CHORIER-FRYD (Université de Poitiers) Pynchon’s epics: communal
    returns “to shore and safety”?
  •  Denis MELLIER (Université de Poitiers) « Le récit embourbé : résidus
    héroïques et fabrique de la fiction. The Lake in the woods et The things
    they carried de Tim O’Brien »

    10.30-11: pause café/ coffee break

    11-13:

    Chair/ Modérateur: Jeremy DOWNES

  •  Enrico BOTTA (University of L’Aquila) “Columbus, Barlow, and the Italian
    Epigraph”
  •  Eric ATHENOT (Université de Tours) « Leaves of Grass: épopée et modernité »
  •  Abigaïl LANG (Université Paris VII) « Narration et oralité. David Antin et
    Jacques Roubaud »
  •  Will MONTGOMERY (Royal Holloway, University of London): “Epic and its
    Others”

    13-14.30: lunch break/ déjeuner

    14.30-16.15:

    Chair/ Modérateur: Abigail LANG

  •  Jacques POIRIER (Université de Bourgogne) « Entre mythification et
    mystification »
  •  Charlotte ESTRADE (Doctorante, Université du Mans) “Odysseus in Ezra Pound’s
    Cantos: epic within epic, problematization and illustration of the relation
    between myth and history.”
  •  Clément OUDART (Université Paris VII) « Un projet épique : The H.D. Book, ou
    l’épopée du modernisme »
  •  Jonathan POLLOCK (Université de Perpignan) « L’impossible épopée d’Ezra
    Pound »

    16.15-16.45: coffee break/ pause café

    16.45-18.15: conférence/ keynote address by Eleni SIKELIANOS

    20: conference dinner/ repas du colloque

    October 23rd

    Salle des Commissions all day

    9-10.40:

    Chair/ Modérateur: Denis MELLIER

  •  Cathy DELPECH (Université de Toulouse 2 ­ Le Mirail) : « La fin de l’épopée,
    l’infini de l’épique : digenèse et relation dans la poétique glissantienne »
  •  André UGHETTO (Université de Toulon) « Les chants du monde de Jean Giono »
  •  Cédric CHAUVIN (Université de Toulouse 2 ­ Le Mirail) « Giono méta-epique :
    guerre et divertissement »
  •  Jean-Paul MADOU (Université de Savoie) « Ormerod/Omeros, Glissant et Walcott
    »

    10.40-11: pause café/ coffee break

    11-13:

    Chair/ Modérateur: Delphine RUMEAU

  •  Simon DENTITH (University of Reading) “The claims of epic: overcoming
    historical distance in the Homeric versions of Derek Walcott and Michael
    Longley”
  •  Maxime DECOUT (Université Lumière ­ Lyon II) « Quand l’épopée réinvente la
    judéité »
  •  Snehirika ROY (Doctorante, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III):

    “An Ever-Extending Dialogue with the Dead Poets: Nekuia as a Site of Epic
    Dialogization in New World Epics”

  •  Elena LANGLAIS (Doctorante, Université de Paris-Ouest): « Savitri de Sri
    Aurobindo : une épopée-monde ? »

    13-14.30: déjeuner/ lunch break

    14.30-17.15:

    Chairs/ Modérateurs: Simon DENTITH, John HOLMES

  •  Erik MARTINY (Université de Provence) Miniature American Epic: the
    Contemporary Genre of the Foreshortened Epyllion
  •  Lidija DAVIDOVSKA (Doctoral candidate, University of East Anglia) “In the
    confessional”
  •  Vincent BROQUA (Université de Paris-Est Créteil): “The feminine epic as
    political intervention”
  •  Jeremy DOWNES (Auburn University) “Epics the Lichen Whisper”: Causation and
    Community in Contemporary American Women’s Epic
  •  Marie-Pierre NOËL (Université de Montpellier III) « Ulysse et la quête de
    l’humanité : interprétations antiques et modernes de l’Odyssée »

    17.30 Apéritif to end the conference/ apéritif de fin de colloque

    CFP

    “What has been lost (…) is the epic, or rather, the taste for the poetic
    continuum such as once informed the epic vein of Romanticism” (C.
    Doumet). How much of a fact is that?
    For, as “a wandering path towards what must be an ancient skill” (S.
    Bouquet), the epic and the heroic continue to haunt the literary
    landscape in a wide variety of fashions ranging from the “fictions of
    globalization” (J. Annesley) to The Lord of the Rings craze and to the
    recent new translations of foundational texts of the genre – Yusef
    Komunyaka’s Gilgamesh (2006) and Ciaran Carson’s Inferno (2002) and Táin (2007) among them – as well as the uninterrupted dialogue with heroic gestures being written by contemporary poets.

    Martinican writer Edouard Glissant in his Faulkner, Mississippi (1996)
    may offer a possible gate of entry to the question of the relevance of
    the epic when he observes that
    “Today the only community with a cast entitling it to community-building
    is the world-as-commune (…). The new epos originates in that community –
    the world-as-a-whole – which is the only one that does not conceive of
    itself or feels itself as such. It has been the office of the epic to be
    entrusted with the expression of all communities. Epics of the ancient
    world and epics of the nearer past did it through the exclusionary
    heroic, meant for times when human communities were as much defined by
    ethnic and even genetic boundaries as by the “universal” dimension each
    one of them held. Epics for the present and for the world that is to
    rise might do it through the participative and inclusive heroic which
    could lead to the world-as-commune, and in which nothing short of the
    “universal” would be the finite and infinite measure of all cultures and
    of all human kinds (…). All literatures in the world are in attendance
    as all of them together are being introduced to this new heroic in such
    a prodigiously diversified manner– and it is as if the astounded face of
    the epic was looking at the gathering of all of us again (…). To us, the
    grandiose heroic of excluding the other is nothing but furbelows (…).
    The world-as-commune calls for that other epic, which Faulkner
    adumbrated, the epic of the difficult Relation. ”

    Participants in the conference are invited to address the question of
    whether or not the notions of “the exclusionary heroic” and of the
    “participative and inclusive heroic” are useful starting-points for a
    renewed reflection on the heroic and the epic. Should one speak of the
    expansion or even of the distension of the epic instead of the predicted
    dilution of the heroic?

    The epic has always borne some relation to a wish to “say it all”, say
    the “whole” and thereby alter the perception of it by fitting it into a
    form. It has therefore often been wedded to the political.

    Is this still the case? For instance, have works – both long and short –
    with epic features published since 1989 shown an inclination to
    challenge globalization or on the contrary have they been subtly
    accompanying it? Do such texts “think globally,” with the Earth or with
    the economist’s or workers’ world in mind? Or do they enhance local or
    minority identity? Or can they do both things at once, i.e., promote
    difference while drawing up a sustainable larger picture? Or is
    Worstward Ho the main direction pointed to? In short, what road maps
    have been in the writing – or are there no longer roads for epics to forge?

    And whence does Glissant’s distinction stem? In some ways, it echoes
    Simone Weil’s famous “The Iliad or the Poem of Force.” Does the
    non-bellicose epic have a future? Has there been any offspring for The
    Iliad as Weil saw it?

    With the United States’ influence across the world, American literary
    production of the past two decades makes a choice field for scrutinizing
    the treatment of the conflicting priorities within aesthetic forms
    aiming at the global reorganization outlined above.

    However, it is equally obvious that this generic and political
    reexamination of the relation between the heroic and the building of
    worlds cannot be confined solely to the field of American literature as
    this would defeat the purpose of this conference, whose intention it is
    to consider a more global epic possibility. So both English-language
    literature specialists and comparatists are welcome to submit: this is
    primarily an invitation to examine American works with epic features of
    the past twenty years – in the field of poetry and also of literature as
    a whole – but this conference also wishes to rekindle “Relation” and be
    an occasion for taking a retrospective look at older works which may
    shed light on more recent uses of the heroic and the epic – from Piers
    Plowman to Claude Simon’s novels. The comparative approach is of course
    irreplaceable to attain even a tentative panoramic view of the genre.

    Submissions – 300 words in length – should be sent to Vincent Dussol by
    November 15th 2009.
    The languages of the conference will be English and French.
    A volume of the articles selected by the reading committee will be
    published.