One Hundred Years of Jealousy – Homage to Swann

A New College Symposium with the support of the Society for French Studies
Oxford, 31st May – 1st June 2013

To celebrate the centenary of the publication of the first volume of Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu, Du côté de chez Swann, this symposium proposes to revisit a major theme of the novel, jealousy. Romantic or sexual jealousy was the subject matter and the trigger of tragedy in some of the greatest works in literary history, but the attention devoted to it culminated at the turn of the twentieth century in the fiction of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, James, Svevo, Musil — and not the least, Proust. In A la recherche du temps perdu, jealousy is not only the determining factor of the lives of Swann and later the narrator himself — not to mention other central figures such as Charlus, Saint-Loup, or Gilberte — but also a crucial propelling power of the narrator’s apprenticeship into the world of signs which ultimately leads to the birth of writing. While revolving around this Proustian leitmotif and its afterlife in twentieth-century French literature, the symposium will also aim to bring together a variety of perspectives including psychology, film studies, and philosophy.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

– Philippe Chardin (Professor of Comparative Literature, Université de Tours – Equipe Proust-ITEM)
– Rainer Warning (Professor Emeritus of Romance Studies, University of Munich)
– Candida Yates (Reader in Psychosocial Studies, University of East London)

The presentations by researchers and postgraduate students from all over Europe will address a variety of related issues, including
–          jealousy as a literary theme and narrative device
–          the psychology and metaphysics of jealousy, love triangles
–          the roles and representation of jealousy in the Proustian novel and the figure of Swann
–          Proustian influence on later representations of love and jealousy (Radiguet, Robbe-Grillet, Claude Simon)
–          jealousy in life and writing (Proust and Agostinelli, Gide and Cocteau)
–          queer, male and female jealousy

Organizer: Dr Erika Fülöp
Stipendiary Lecturer in French
New College, Oxford

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