Fall 2016: Two upcoming talks –
Friday, Nov 11th, 4pm – Room 4406
Vicki Mahaffey, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – “Adultery and the Everyday: Flaubert and Joyce”
In nineteenth-century European literature, adultery (when committed by a woman) was depicted as a deadly enemy of the domestic and the everyday. Such a view is vividly apparent in Paul de Kock’s Le Cocu (1832), a copy of which Joyce owned. The conflict between adultery and the everyday is personified in the tragic relation between Emma and Charles in Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. Flaubert, however, suggests that Emma’s adultery paradoxically stems from her purity, a purity stoked by the romanticism of religion and novels. In Ulysses, Joyce reconciles adultery with the everyday by connecting the process of adulteration with adulthood. Ultimately, he transfers the site of adulteration from individual adult people to the word. Language reconciles the tension between adulteration and the everyday. Deployed as an “everyday poetics,” language inspires a different model of time, one that can accommodate anachronism. The splitting of the word coincides with a fissuring of the moment, interrupting and scrambling the relentless sequencing of past, present, and future.
Friday, Nov 18th, 4pm – Room 4406
Lisa Goldfarb, NYU Gallatin – “Three Voices of Modern Musical Poetry: Stevens, Eliot, Valéry”
Opposite as their philosophical aims may be, and however distant he may declare himself from Eliot’s poetic practice, Stevens nevertheless praises Eliot for his modern musicality. Both poets theorize and practice a musical poetic that shares many features. Stevens and Eliot, too, have great admiration for symbolist poetics, and, in particular, for Paul Valéry, who carved a musical aesthetic for modern poetry. This presentation will engage the musical poetics of all three poets, drawing together poetic voices which are not often seen in relation to one another.