Seminar: "The Poetics of Voice in Contemporary Literature in English"

ENS de Lyon

The objective of this seminar is to analyse the poetics of voice in contemporary literature in English. It may seem paradoxical to evoke the concept of voice when dealing with a written text which, by definition, is mute. Voice in writing can only be a simulacrum, a fiction, an illusion, a spectre, but we propose to study the modes of representations of these effects of voice and orality, covering the whole spectrum from verbal overflow to aphasia, from effusiveness to muteness.

We examine in particular the mechanisms involved in the purification and the contamination of silence by analysing ellipses and reluctance in narration and dialogue, but also typographical blanks which literally inscribe silence on the page. We also study devices of excess, emphasis, verbiage and proliferation of words from a poetic and political perspective. By confronting these two apparently opposed dimensions in narratives, we examine what each reveals and determine what they might have in common, especially as some authors employ both strategies.


The seminar consists of sessions directed by Vanessa Guignery, as well as  seminars and lectures by invited professors.


18 November 2015. Hubert Malfray (Lycée Claude-Fauriel—Saint-Étienne): “Quête et enquête du féminin chez P.D. James: le roman d’espionnage et la voix de l’inconvenance”.



15 October 2014. Catherine Pesso-Miquel (University of Lyon 2) : « Quand la voix soliloque: l’écriture de la conscience dans le roman contemporain de langue anglaise »


3 October 2012. Gerd Bayer (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany): "Printed Betrayals: Voices and Epistolary Fiction"



14 February 2012. Axel Stähler (University of Canterbury, Kent): "Of Hypochondriac Voices and Poetical Existence: Israel in British Jewish Fiction".


20 October 2010. Annette Kern (University of Berne, Switzerland): "Translating the Unspeakable: Interpreters at War Crime Trials on the Contemporary British Stage".




19 November 2009. Axel Stähler (University of Canterbury, Kent): "Giving Voice to the Silence of the Other: Holocaust Narratives of Re(dis)covery".





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Seminar. Vanessa Guignery (ENS de Lyon).



21 September 2016-16 November 2015. ENS de Lyon
         "The Voices of the Subaltern in Contemporary Literature"
         Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River
         Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things

23 September 2015-18 November 2015. ENS de Lyon

         "Voices and Literary Genres in British Contemporary Literature"
          Julian Barnes. Flaubert's Parrot
          Jonathan Coe. The Terrible Privacy of MaxWell Sim
           P.D. James. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and The Skull Beneath the Skin.
 
1 October 2014-18 November 2014
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ENS de Lyon.

          "The Voices of the Short Story in New Zealand and Canada"
          Janet Frame's The Lagoon and Other Stories
          Alice Munro's Dance of the Happy Shades

25 September 2013-15 November 2013. ENS de Lyon.
"Indian Voices"
Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children
Anita Desai's In Custody
Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things
26 September 2012-24 October 2012. ENS de Lyon.
"African Voices"
J.M. Coetzee's Foe
Ben Okri's The Famished Road

9 November 2011-8 February 2012. ENS de Lyon.
Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children
Anita Desai's In Custody
Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things
J.M. Coetzee's Foe

20 January-5 May 2011. University of Texas at Austin (USA).
Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day
Julian Barnes's A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters
Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children
Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things
Anita Desai's In Custody
J.M. Coetzee's Foe
Janet Frame's The Lagoon and Other Stories

5 November 2009-27 January 2010. ENS de Lyon.
Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things
Anita Desai's In Custody
Julian Barnes's Flaubert's Parrot