Part 6: Conference Sessions

October 15: 9:30-10:30 Session: From Writer to Author

9:30-10:30 De l’écrivain·e à l’auteur·trice : genre littéraire et gender, stratégies de légitimation et fabrique de l’autorité dans le champ littéraire. / From writer to author: literary genre and gender, legitimation strategies and the creation of authority in the literary field. (I)

Présidence/Chair : Sophie Raynard (U. of Stonybrook Long Island)

Karin KUKKONEN (U. Oslo). « Authors at Play: Madeleine de Scudéry’s Mathilde. »

Madeleine de Scudéry’s Mathilde (1667) is prefaced by a long paratext entitled “ Les Jeux “, where Scudéry presents an assembly playing “jeux d’esprit” and eventually producing the novella itself as the result of such games. In this presentation, I shall explore how Scudéry negotiates different aspects of her authorship through the process of playfulness and games. Mathilde, Scudéry’s “nouvelle première”, as the subtitle presents it, follows on from Clelie (1654-1660), and a comparison between the game-like moments in Clelie and Mathilde will serve to trace how Scudéry develops her move from very long narratives to shorter one ones. In the narrative of Mathilde itself, Scudéry features Petrarch as a character at the Papal court at Vaucluse, where the novella is mainly set. Scudéry’s treatment of the Canzoniere and her incorporation of biographies of Petrarch and Laura, in particular Alessandro Vellutello’s “Espositione” (1568), represents the poetic genius of Petrarch as embedded into the court society and dependent on interpersonal relationships (to Laura but also to Scudéry’s protagonist Mathilde). These collaborative models of authorship will be then linked to Scudéry’s own author identity as Sapho in Artamene and the Chroniques du SamediMathilde and its preface “Les Jeux”, I argue, can be read as a programmatic reflection by Scudéry on her model of authorship, where “jeux d’esprit” negotiate between individual and collective creative settings.

Karin Kukkonen is Professor in Comparative Literature at the University of Oslo (Norway). She specialises in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century novels and the poetics of their narrative form, combining historical with formalist and cognitive approaches. Her publications include A Prehistory of Cognitive Poetics: Neoclassicism and the Novel (OUP, 2017) and How the Novel Found its Feet: 4E Cognition and Eighteenth-Century Fiction (OUP, 2019).

Kathryn R. BASTIN (Eckerd College). « On Butterflies: Affective Networks in Madeleine de Scudéry’s “Les papillons”. »

Insects are often overlooked in the field of animal studies, but talking butterflies in a late seventeenth-century text bring thislepidopteran front and center. My roundtable presentation proposes to
explore Madeleine de Scudéry’s (1607-1701) literary work on butterflies, “Les papillons” in Entretiens de morale tome 2 (1693). Scudéry was well known for her love of animals—keeping pets such as
cats, dogs, birds, chameleons, and monkeys—but she was especially fond of winged creatures. Scudéry strongly advocated for animal cognition and feeling in an era characterized by the Cartesian animal-machine. Ubiquitous for her literary and philosophical contributions, Scudéry’s writing on non-human animals merits special attention regarding the circulation of emotion. My work analyzes how she builds a network of emotional communities through her writing and her salons. Her work on insect-human relations in “Les papillons,” a brief interlude of a poetic text, embodies the circulation of affect and shows how Scudéry involves her surrounding community in emotional inquiry regarding these sublime winged creatures. In this particular text, she describes butterflies speaking and loving amongst themselves, yet she also evokes admiration and curiosity from viewers, listeners, and readers. For Scudéry, it is through the insect’s body that she maps out emotions that exemplify her resounding shared affective social communities. Scudéry’s emotional networks illustrate our notion of modern affect and shared experiences.

Kate Bastin is an Assistant Professor of French at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. Her teaching and research interests include early modern French literature and culture, animal studies, women’s writing, fairytale studies, and plant studies.

Camille ESMEIN-SARRAZIN (U. Orléans). « Le cas Lafayette : anonymat, collaboration et attributions, de l’histoire des textes à la figure d’autrice. »

L’attribution des œuvres de Lafayette fait aujourd’hui consensus, à de rares exceptions près. Je me propose pour cette raison de revenir, non sur l’anonymat ou sur l’attribution, mais sur l’histoire de la figure d’autrice. Il s’agit d’aborder l’histoire éditoriale de ce corpus (lequel présente une grande diversité : anonymat, pseudonymie, publication posthume anonyme ou non et œuvres apocryphes) et le discours qui concerne l’écrivaine pour voir de quelle manière et à quelles dates se constitue cette figure qui joue un rôle clé pour l’histoire littéraire et pour l’élaboration de la notion de classicisme. La question de l’auctorialité de Lafayette, dont l’œuvre a fait l’objet de récritures et de remaniements importants, et, plus que la réception, la réappropriation de son œuvre, en fait un cas d’espèce particulièrement significatif. Étudier ses récits à travers ces différents prismes, et notamment les questions de gender, pose, au-delà de cette autrice, des questions centrales pour envisager la notion d’auteur dans la première modernité.

Camille Esmein-Sarrazin est maître de conférences à l’université d’Orléans. Spécialiste de la poétique du roman d’ancien régime, elle a réalisé une anthologie de textes théoriques du xviie siècle (Poétiques du roman, H. Champion, 2004) et étudié les mutations du genre durant cette période (L’Essor du roman. Discours théorique et constitution d’un genre littéraire au XVIIe siècle, H. Champion, 2008). Elle a publié les œuvres complètes de Mme de Lafayette (Gallimard, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 2014) et contribue à l’édition critique de L’Astrée d’Honoré d’Urfé (H. Champion, 2011, 2016, 2022). Son travail en cours porte sur l’appréhension du genre romanesque aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles, tel qu’il s’énonce dans le discours critique, l’histoire littéraire et les manuels scolaires du temps. Il s’agit, en documentant le sort réservé au genre romanesque, d’enrichir la réflexion contemporaine sur la notion historicisable d’œuvre classique.

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