Conducted live at NYU - La Maison Française -Friday, October 14th- Saturday October 15th.
Proust is never quite forgotten — yet we still may not know him as well as we think we do. This international conference marks the centenary of Proust’s death by considering elements of In Search of Lost Time that remain fugitive, or unrecognized : counterplots or points of resistance within the logic of the Künstlerroman; variations in the music of the text that never develop into a dominant theme; “beings-in-flight” who, like Albertine, pass through the novel in a blur; volumes or sections of text or manuscript that have been overlooked; fleeting visions or vantage points that break with the redemptive logic of Time Regained.
Beyond its reference to one of the lesser read volumes in the novel, fugitive resonates on multiple levels. It suggests flight from enslavement or imprisonment, and the precarity of subsequent escape, banishment, desertion, or exile. It also signifies transience and ephemerality: “poésie fugitive” is a poetic genre (epigram, song, madrigal) inspired by circumstances. More broadly, the fugitive is what cannot be contained, what eludes the law. A feeling for the fugitive informs Proust’s penchant for pastiche, translation, and other practices of vocal heterogeneity and dislocation.
To read for fugitivity in Proust is to engage the novel’s aesthetics of contingency and incompletion, and to consider how an ethos of outsiderness shapes In Search of Lost Time in visible and invisible ways.
Emily Apter, NYU
Christopher Bush, Northwestern University
Rebecca Comay, University of Toronto
Antoine Compagnon, Columbia University
Hannah Freed-Thall, NYU
Anne Garréta, Duke University
Elisabeth Ladenson, Columbia University
Michael Lucey, UC-Berkeley
Zakir Paul, NYU
François Proulx, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Jacqueline Rose, Birkbeck Institute of the Humanities, Birkbeck University of London
Michael Wood, Princeton University
Co-sponsored by the Department of French Literature, Thought and Culture; the Department of Comparative Literature; the Advanced Certificate Program in Poetics & Theory; the Provost’s Global Initiatives; the Maison Française at NYU; the Institute for French Studies; the Center for the Humanities; XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement; the Department of Spanish & Portuguese; and the Department of German. Made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States.