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International Conference

5, 6, 7 November, 2014 in Madrid

Anne‐Marie Reboul and Esther Sánchez‐Pardo, main organizers

Sponsored by the French, English I and II Departments, Faculty of Philology, Complutense University in Madrid, and Institut Français d’Espagne in Madrid.

Marguerite Duras, one of France’s most internationally acclaimed writers, has become a modern classic. Her prolific career as author, screenwriter and director, and her immense influence on other artists and traditions extends from her early novels of the 1950’s to her radically innovative experimental texts from the 1960’s to the 1980’s, and her exploration of image and sound in her life‐long engagement with film.

In an attempt to revisit her entire oeuvre, and to examine Duras’ relationship to audiences and critics, her significance for French cultures, for la francophonie and the world at large today (Duras’ work reaches many of her readers in translation), we aim at examining Duras’ leading role as an inspirational force for her generation, as well as her relative isolation, her relentless search for new creative avenues for uncensored expression, her exploration of passion, love and sexuality, her formal and ideological commitment against totalitarian frames of view, and her controversial profile vis à vis the media. Celebrated by French feminists, who claimed her as an accomplished practitioner of écriture féminine, Duras has proved to be a canonical author as well as a profoundly transgressive thinker and artist.

Possible paper topics include:

Duras as a novelist, playwright and filmmaker
Duras and the New Novel of postwar France
Duras, passion, and transgression
Duras experimental fictions,
The limits of narrative in Durasian fiction and film,
Duras and the French New Wave, Duras and Alain Resnais, Duras and film theory
Duras and historical representation, and colonialism, politics, and otherness
Duras’ styles: intertextuality, visuality and/or polyphony,
Duras and silence
Autobiography and autofiction in Duras
Duras’ ‘primal scenes’
Duras’ minimalism
Duras and memory, ecstasy and ravishment
Duras and celebrity culture in 1970s France
Duras as a cult figure
Duras and her critics, from feminism to psychoanalysis
Critical reception of Duras and her work
Duras’ legacy today


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