6:00 PM–7:00 PM MAISON FRANCAISE EAST GALLERY
Jane Gilbert, introduced by Eliza Zingesser
This event is cancelled, as are other upcoming public events at the Columbia Maison Francaise.
As a precautionary measure in response to the coronavirus, Columbia University has asked its centers to cancel or postpone public events on campus. We will post information on our website when public events can be resumed.
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Jane Gilbert stages in this talk a dialogue between the formal and stylistic qualities of medieval literary French prose and Roland Barthes’s writings about early photography. Photography fails to capture information that painting can, yet its minimalist surface and apparent indexicality have a charisma that lends a sheen to banal reality. French literary prose, which came to the fore fairly suddenly around 1200, lacks the vividness and drama of the well-established verse narration, yet its ‘under-writing’ presented a new vision of the world that evidently appealed to medieval audiences, since surviving manuscripts of French prose works are many and widespread, and many verse narratives were re-written in prose. Her argument considers degree-zero stylistics and its power intermedially across these two forms.
Jane Gilbert is Senior Lecturer in French at University College London, and publishes on medieval French and English literature and modern critical theory. Her current research project draws on intermedial and posthuman theories to think about how medieval literary forms change when they are ‘translated’ – in a variety of senses.