Dissertation: Late Twentieth-Century
French and Italian Essayistic Fiction.
Principal advisors: Jeffrey Schnapp, Laura
Wittman. Committee members: Robert Harrison, Joshua Landy, Thomas
My dissertation analyzes the various strands of
essayism in French and Italian fiction from the 1960s to present.
Beginning with Montaigne, I define the essay’s main
features and survey important theories of the essay into the
twentieth century. I then offer an expansive genealogy of European
essayistic fiction from the early twentieth century to present. I
claim that early essayistic fiction, exemplified by writers such as
Valéry, Proust, Musil, and Pirandello, fell dormant until the late
1960s when writers rediscovered that the essay’s
tentative nature and its rhetorical structures (digression,
dialogism, contingency, hypothetical language) could be enlisted to
reorient the novel from a realist trajectory to a more open-ended,
speculative, and metaphysical one. These writers include Michel
Tournier, Yannick Haenel, Muriel Barbery, Italo Calvino, Claudio
Magris, and other contemporary French and Francophone
- “The Impudence of Claude
créateur (forthcoming Spring
- “Schreber, parfaitement
littéraire no. 524, October
- “Cioran’s Providential
Bicycle.” Revista Transilvania
(Romania), January 2012.
- “Fenoglio’s Vitalist Impulse:
Infuturamento, and the Force of Life in Il
Partigiano Johnny,” Quaderni del
‘900, no. 11, November 2011.
- “Slim Prospects: The
Anorexic Body in the Postmodern Condition.” Quaderni di
Synapsis, Vol. 8., 2010.
- “Jarry, Tabucchi, Pessoa: The Design of
Temporal Navigation.” Pataphysica, Vol. 3, mNemonik iNk
- “Founders of Discursivity?: A Foucauldian
Glimpse of the Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle.”
Chimères: A Journal of French Literature published by the
University of Kansas, Vol. XXVIII, Fall 2004.
- Review of France in Crisis:
Welfare, Inequality and Globalization since 1980 by Timothy B.
Smith. The French Review 79:4 (p. 860-861) March
- Review of
Globalization Redux: New Name, Same Game edited by Tom Conner and
Ikuko Torimoto. The French Review 79:3 (p.652-653) February
- Review of
Eleanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady edited by Bonnie Wheeler and
John Carmi Parsons. The French Review 78:6 (p.1259-1260) May
- Review of
Cock and Bull Stories: Folco de Baroncelli and the Invention of the
Camargue by Robert Zaretsky. The French Review 78:4 (p. 794-795)
of French Popular Culture: An Introduction, Hugh Dauncey, ed. To
appear in The French Review 78:3 (p. 602-3) Feb.
- Review of
Popular Music in Contemporary France: Authenticity, Politics,
Debate, by David L. Looseley. The French Review 78:1(p. 183) Oct.
- Review of
France and Women, 1789-1914: Gender, Society and Politics, by James
F. McMillan. The French Review 77:3 (pp. 603-604) Feb.
- Review of
The French Wars 1792-1815, by Charles J. Esdaile. The French Review
77:1 (pp. 176-177) Oct. 2003.
- “Un entretien avec Sonia
Korn-Grimani, écrivaine” Guest Host of Professor Robert
Harrison’s radio program “Entitled Opinions
(About Life and Literature),” on KZSU 90.1 Stanford,
- "Un entretien avec Lyonel Trouillot, écrivain
haïtien," Guest Host of "Entitled
Opinions," February 2011.
- "Le Nouveau
Roman," Guest on "Entitled Opinions,"
Crusoe and Its Imitators,” (precept) Creative
Arts and Humanities Symposium, Princeton University, September
- “The Essayification of
Everything,” Preoccupied: The Words, Wounds, and Workings
of Occupations, Past and Present (Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate
Conference), Berlin, Germany, June 2012.
- “Self-Begetting Theory:
Volodine’s Post-Exotic Aesthetics,” Actuality
and the Idea Conference, Princeton University, May
- “The Root: The Toxicity of a Metaphor in
Twentieth-Century France,” Department of French and
Italian Faculty Works in Progress Lecture Series, Princeton
University, March 2012.
- “The Essayistic Thrust in the Contemporary
French Novel,” Crossings, Frictions, Fusions:
21st-Century French and Francophone Studies
International Colloquium, Long Beach, CA, March
- “Rootedness, a Troublesome Metaphor:
Enracination, Eradication, and the Caribbean,” Northeast
Modern Language Association Conference, Rochester, NY, March
- “Endogamie, Exogamie
and the Sphere of Possibilities,”
Deceit, Desire, and the Novel Fifty Years
Later: Mimetic Theory and Literary Studies, Stanford University,
- “Pragmatism and the Essay Form,”
American Comparative Literature Association, Vancouver, Canada,
- “Procedere quasi a tentoni:
Possibilitarianism and the Tentacular in Claudio
California Interdisciplinary Consortium for Italian Studies Annual
Conference, Stanford, California, March 2009.
- “A Conversation
(panelist), Modernist Studies Association Conference, Long Beach,
CA, November 2007.
- “Oeil pour oeil: Retributive
Violence, Disaster, and the Crisis of Representation Conference,
University of California, Los Angeles, October
- “Semiosis of Suspicion in Italian
Literary Conversion,” Conversions Conference, Stanford
University, January 2007.
- “Electronic Games as a Constrained
Medium: An Oulipian Approach,” Form, Culture and Video
Game Criticism Conference, Princeton University, March
- “The Ninth Art: A Survey of the
Comic in France,” Graduate Student Lecture
Series, University of North Texas, April 2003.
- “Art as a
Classroom Catalyst,” Texas Foreign Language
Association Fall Conference, Fort Worth, TX, November
- Essay by Rudolf Arnheim,
“Disciplina del grammofono, della
radio, del telefono e della
Vol. 16.2, March 2009.
- Essay by Valéry Larbaud, “La
Limits (Milan: Skira, 2009).
- “The Law of 22 Prairial
(1794),” with Dan Edelstein, Telos,
no. 141, Winter 2007.
- Essay by Dr. Sylvie Chalaye entitled
“Écritures contemporaines du monde noir francophone:
dramaturgies du détour,” Yale French
Studies, Vol. 112, November 2007.
- Essay by Dr. Bernadette Bost
entitled “Drames hors-limites: des théâtres de la
totalité,”Yale French Studies, Vol.
112, November 2007.
- Essay by Dr. Natacha Allet entitled “Mythe
et légende dans les théâtres d’Antonin
Artaud”Yale French Studies, Vol.
111, May 2007.
completed books of memoirs of Antoine Köpe, a World War I soldier
who resided inTurkey and whose native language was