Comparative literature and possible texts (Antwerp)

“Comparative Literature and Possible Texts”

within the framework of the Francqui Chair (Prof. William Marx), Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of the University of Antwerp.

University of Antwerp, Belgium

December 1-2, 2022

The starting point is that the “comparative scientist”, even if he does not always say it in these terms, even if he prefers to speak, using an older vocabulary, “parallels” and “comparative facts (what is a fact? vast question…), is also, and first of all, a builder of “possible” literature. William Marx writes: “We could even use the portmanteau of probalibraries to designate these sets of texts or occurrences which intervene more or less probably in the genealogy of another text” (Des Etoiles nouvelles, 2021). We dared to imagine, because that day we had nothing better to do, a “posttextual” method where the critic admits without too many scruples that we construct a text using other bits of texts and that reading is another word for inventing. In short, we will reflect in December on the link that can be established between comparativism and constructivism. There will be case studies, concrete examples, more “theorizing” approaches and no doubt also frank demonstrations of “interventionist” criticism. “Reading is creating together”, said Balzac. And another added: “Literature will be made by all, not by one.”​

Thursday, December 1, 2022
9.30 a.m. Welcome and opening of the colloquium by Maxim Delodder, Franc Schuerewegen, Antwerp

Session 1: “About possibilities”, session chair Kathleen Gyssels, Antwerp
10:00 a.m. William Marx, Paris, “Possible libraries”

10.30 a.m. Vincent Jouve, Reims, “Possible texts and critical accuracy”

11:30 a.m. Coffee break

12:00 Romain Bionda, Lausanne, “Has Ophelia really metamorphosed into a flower? About reading errors and their probalibrary”

1:00 p.m. Lunch

Session 2: “Stories and ghosts”, session chair Sabrina Parent, Brussels
2:30 p.m. Marie-Agathe Tilliette, Rouen, “An unmissable historical novel: parody or critical method?”

3:00 p.m. Nicolas Aude, Paris, “The ghosts of Isaac Babel: at the frontiers of text and memory”

4:00 p.m. Coffee break

4:30 p.m. Paul Aron, Brussels, “Making a series. Professional poets”

5:30 p.m. Friendship drink

7:00 p.m. Dinner offered to conference attendees, University Club, Prinsstraat

Friday, December 2, 2022
Session 3: “Science and science fiction”, session chair Beatrijs Van Acker, Leuven
10:00 am Andrea Lungo, Paris, “The invention of hypertext (Balzac)”

10:30 a.m. Maria de Jesus Cabral, Minho, “Ethical issues of technoscience through the prism of fiction. The case of L’Eve future”

11:00 a.m. Coffee break

11:30 a.m. Emmanuel Bouju, Paris, “Rare birds on the thin film of writing. For a superficial comparison”

12:30 p.m. Lunch

Session 4: “The intention to compare”, session chair Isa Van Acker, Antwerp
2:00 p.m. Karen Haddad, Paris, “And why should we compare?”

2:30 p.m. Francis Mus, Ghent, “Praise of discretion. Thinking about the multiple roles of the translator”

3:30 p.m. Coffee break

4:00 p.m. Vincent Ferré, Paris, “‘Seeing the Middle Ages everywhere’, or the medievalist obsession”

4:30 p.m. Franc Schuerewegen, Antwerp, “Possible texts and author’s intention”

5.30 p.m. Informal reception at Agora, Grote Kauwenberg

Useful information

December 1 & 2, 2022​

Comparative literature and possible texts (Antwerp)