Riding the chimera: the materiality of language and the body of the novel

30 Mars, 2010 - 13:15 - 14:15

Conférence à la School of Languages & Linguistics de l’Université de Melbourne, Babel Building.

Few arenas offer a better case study of the interaction of language and culture than literature. In this paper, I shall consider this interaction as a living organism. The play e, Roman-dit by contemporary Quebecois playwright Daniel Danis, which is predicated on just such an interaction (between speech, writing and cultural identity), can be seen to shed light on the complex nature of this hybrid and perpetually morphing organism. The reading offered here will thereupon propose a contemporary approach of the Menippea, this anti-canonical tradition, as analysed by Mikhail Bakhtin in the novel, that has always sought to give substance to this chimera and which, in so doing, keeps the body of the text alive.