Call for proposals | 14

FR SP

Savoirs en Prisme | 14 A Lover’s Discourse, Fragments, in the literature and the cinema of the Hispanic world

Directed by Geneviève Fabry and Audrey Louyer

 

The necessity for this book is to be found in the following consideration: that the lover’s discourse is today of an extreme solitude. This discourse is spoken, perhaps, by thousands of subjects (who knows?) but warranted by no one ; it is completely forsaken by the surrounding languages : ignored or disparaged, or derided by them, severed not only from authority but also from the mechanisms of authority (sciences, techniques, arts). Once a discourse is thus driven by its own momentum into the backwater of the “unreal”, exiled from all gregarity, it has no recourse but to become the site, however exiguous, of an affirmation. That affirmation is, in short, the subject which begins here.

 

In this quotation one may recognize the epigraph to A Lover’s Discourse, Fragments, the unforgettable book by Roland Barthes[1], the very source of inspiration for the thematic of issue no.14 of Savoirs en prisme. It could be objected that the love discourse is today less isolated than in the seventies as it has been the subject of major studies by sociologists like Eva Illouz or philosophers like Alain Badiou. Would not the emphasis laid on the affective turn in recent research in cultural studies bely this conception inherited from Roland Barthes who shows us a love discourse fragmented, fragile and forsaken?

 

In this perspective, the guiding hypothesis of our argument should concentrate on the idea that the current approach to love in literature and cinema is at the heart of a complex issue which, at first glance, appears to be determined by three key-elements. The first one highlights the topicality of the fragment. The great mythical intertexts of love passion seem to re-surface in contemporary literature to give way to a subject, man or woman, in search for his / her desire, facing the demands of individual autonomy and social recognition, in tension or even in contradiction, one way or the other, with the unconditional nature of the experience of being in love. The fragment involves the configuration of new approaches to temporality more closely linked to the present, albeit disenchanted. It also tends to move away from a proper narrative, subvert the epiphanic or tragic moments of passion (passion-meeting-union-separation-death) in order to emphasize more daily and partial aspects of it.

 

As a corollary of this, a second key-element may be found in contemporary texts about the emergence of a discourse of the intimate. In an essay published in 2013, entitled De l’intime. Loin du bruyant amour, (Grasset), François Jullien tries to reflect on the question of love from the very concept of the intimate. The intimate is not characterized by equivocation (between eros and agape, body and soul), but by the ambiguity between two indistinguishable meanings as it actually relates to both the spiritual and the sensual. It opens up access to the deepest level of interiority – according to the etymology of the word intimus, the innermost – while it opens an intersubjective space par excellence where the other cannot be relegated to the status of an object of desire because the relationship itself has become intimate. In passion love, by contrast, the other is too often, and often temporarily, the object that fulfills my desire in an endless, ultimately deadly quest. In L’amour et l’Occident, Denis de Rougemont had examined the extent to which the relation between love and death has structured the Western love imagination turning Tristan and Iseult into models for the art of loving while they are more in love with love itself and its discourse than with each other. For this reason, passion love is considered “loud”, mired in a mythologized narration that exalts death more or less explicitly. Conversely, the intimate is neither conspicuous nor motivated by mythological incentives. More fundamentally, it is averse to the romance. According to Jullien the intimate is a problem for the novelist because it is supposed to challenge the notion of plot and to be a subtle breakthrough, sometimes alien to the specific sequences of narrativity. In a sustained dialogue with Jullien’s book, Le goût de la vie commune (Flammarion, 2015), Claude Habib goes even further with her conception of amorous intimacy arguing that boredom and duration are constitutive elements of its nature. To really love someone is not to ask him or her to ease my boredom (an impossible demand in the long term) but to be able to go together through the phases of boredom that punctuate our existence like the backlash of the sea. Then, would the intimate, averse to the romance, be closer to poetic diction?

 

In the present project we wish to put these hypotheses to the test of literary or cinematographic works and focus on a recent corpus (1970-2020) belonging to the Hispanic world ; yet, insights involving older texts or texts from other traditions (approached from a comparative point of view) are most welcome. We would also like to encourage an interdisciplinary approach to the love discourse by mobilizing knowledge from philosophy, history, gender studies, sociology, etc..The following questions will be examined in particular:
  • To what extent is intimacy in love averse to the great tale of passion, as written by de Rougemont? How is the tension between fragment and narrativity articulated in this context?
  • How does this type of intimacy emerge within the text? What type of relationship between the characters does it highlight? (love, friendship, attachment, care).
  • What type of intertext is mobilized in the love fable of the last half-century?
  • Is there a clear opposition or articulation between the demythologized, fragmentary love narrative and passionate rewritings – for example, the melodramatic mode?
  • How does philosophical (Badiou, Jullien) or sociological (Illouz) reflection shed new light on the literary and cinematographic expression of love?

 

 

Instructions for authors

 

Proposals for articles (maximum 15 lines) will be followed by a short biographical note including affiliation and e-mail address. They should be sent to the editors of the issue before 15 September 2020.
&nbsp
Accepted languages: French, Spanish, English.

Timetable for the drafting of the article itself:

 

  • Date of the submission of the text: 15 February 2021.
  • Anonymous reviews will be sent to the authors by May 30.
  • Sending of the revised texts before 15 July 2021.
  • Last quarter 2021: publication of issue 14 of the online journal SEP.

 

For further information, please consult the review’s website:        http://savoirsenprisme.com

[1] Roland Barthes, Fragments d’un discours amoureux, Paris, Seuil, 1977, exergue p.5; A Lover’s Discourse, Fragments, translated by Richard Howard, Hill and Wang, A division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1978.

 

 

In this quotation one may recognize the epigraph to A Lover’s Discourse, Fragments, the unforgettable book by Roland Barthes[1], the very source of inspiration for the thematic of issue no.14 of Savoirs en prisme. It could be objected that the love discourse is today less isolated than in the seventies as it has been the subject of major studies by sociologists like Eva Illouz or philosophers like Alain Badiou. Would not the emphasis laid on the affective turn in recent research in cultural studies bely this conception inherited from Roland Barthes who shows us a love discourse fragmented, fragile and forsaken?

In this perspective, the guiding hypothesis of our argument should concentrate on the idea that the current approach to love in literature and cinema is at the heart of a complex issue which, at first glance, appears to be determined by three key-elements. The first one highlights the topicality of the fragment. The great mythical intertexts of love passion seem to re-surface in contemporary literature to give way to a subject, man or woman, in search for his / her desire, facing the demands of individual autonomy and social recognition, in tension or even in contradiction, one way or the other, with the unconditional nature of the experience of being in love. The fragment involves the configuration of new approaches to temporality more closely linked to the present, albeit disenchanted. It also tends to move away from a proper narrative, subvert the epiphanic or tragic moments of passion (passion-meeting-union-separation-death) in order to emphasize more daily and partial aspects of it.

As a corollary of this, a second key-element may be found in contemporary texts about the emergence of a discourse of the intimate. In an essay published in 2013, entitled De l’intime. Loin du bruyant amour, (Grasset), François Jullien tries to reflect on the question of love from the very concept of the intimate. The intimate is not characterized by equivocation (between eros and agape, body and soul), but by the ambiguity between two indistinguishable meanings as it actually relates to both the spiritual and the sensual. It opens up access to the deepest level of interiority – according to the etymology of the word intimus, the innermost – while it opens an intersubjective space par excellence where the other cannot be relegated to the status of an object of desire because the relationship itself has become intimate. In passion love, by contrast, the other is too often, and often temporarily, the object that fulfills my desire in an endless, ultimately deadly quest. In L’amour et l’Occident, Denis de Rougemont had examined the extent to which the relation between love and death has structured the Western love imagination turning Tristan and Iseult into models for the art of loving while they are more in love with love itself and its discourse than with each other. For this reason, passion love is considered “loud”, mired in a mythologized narration that exalts death more or less explicitly. Conversely, the intimate is neither conspicuous nor motivated by mythological incentives. More fundamentally, it is averse to the romance. According to Jullien the intimate is a problem for the novelist because it is supposed to challenge the notion of plot and to be a subtle breakthrough, sometimes alien to the specific sequences of narrativity. In a sustained dialogue with Jullien’s book, Le goût de la vie commune (Flammarion, 2015), Claude Habib goes even further with her conception of amorous intimacy arguing that boredom and duration are constitutive elements of its nature. To really love someone is not to ask him or her to ease my boredom (an impossible demand in the long term) but to be able to go together through the phases of boredom that punctuate our existence like the backlash of the sea. Then, would the intimate, averse to the romance, be closer to poetic diction?

In the present project we wish to put these hypotheses to the test of literary or cinematographic works and focus on a recent corpus (1970-2020) belonging to the Hispanic world ; yet, insights involving older texts or texts from other traditions (approached from a comparative point of view) are most welcome. We would also like to encourage an interdisciplinary approach to the love discourse by mobilizing knowledge from philosophy, history, gender studies, sociology, etc..The following questions will be examined in particular:

  • To what extent is intimacy in love averse to the great tale of passion, as written by de Rougemont? How is the tension between fragment and narrativity articulated in this context?
  • How does this type of intimacy emerge within the text? What type of relationship between the characters does it highlight? (love, friendship, attachment, care).
  • What type of intertext is mobilized in the love fable of the last half-century?
  • Is there a clear opposition or articulation between the demythologized, fragmentary love narrative and passionate rewritings – for example, the melodramatic mode?
  • How does philosophical (Badiou, Jullien) or sociological (Illouz) reflection shed new light on the literary and cinematographic expression of love?

 

 

Instructions for authors

 

Proposals for articles (maximum 15 lines) will be followed by a short biographical note including affiliation and e-mail address. They should be sent to the editors of the issue before 15 September 2020.

 

Accepted languages: French, Spanish, English.

 

Timetable for the drafting of the article itself:

 

  • Date of the submission of the text: 15 February 2021.
  • Anonymous reviews will be sent to the authors by May 30.
  • Sending of the revised texts before 15 July 2021.
  • Last quarter 2021: publication of issue 14 of the online journal SEP.

 

For further information, please consult the review’s website:        http://savoirsenprisme.com

[1] Roland Barthes, Fragments d’un discours amoureux, Paris, Seuil, 1977, exergue p.5; A Lover’s Discourse, Fragments, translated by Richard Howard, Hill and Wang, A division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1978.