Unsettling Scores: A Study Day on French Musico-Poetics from Banville to Duras – programme page

The Humanities and Arts Research Centre at Royal Holloway University of London (HARC)

and the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Royal Holloway University of London

Event Date: Friday 11 June, 2010 – 10am-6pm

The Boardroom, 2 Gower Street, London

Unsettling Scores: A Study Day on French Musico-Poetics from Banville to Duras

Organised by Dr Claire Launchbury (e-mail)

Abstract: Encounters with music and the musical in French cultural practice are marked by their difficulty. Music is found to be an impenetrable, mysterious, and evasive art that confounds meaning in its multiplicity and subsequent resistance to firm conclusion. By highlighting problems such as listening, particularly in terms of entendre which carries with it a sense of understanding, we ask what music might be heard to encode; how we might fail to account for it with wrong metaphors, or how music transfigures meaning in a way that is impossible to render due justice in discourse. The study day brings together a selection of papers that each in their own way work in a theoretical field of words and music studies outlined particularly in the work of Jankélévitch, Lawrence Kramer, Peter Dayan and Malcolm Bowie to explore the different perspectives on the boundaries between textual practices and their engagement with music in French literary culture.


Introduction : Claire Launchbury and Ahuvia Kahane .
Peter Dayan (Edinburgh) – Stravinsky, Oedipus, Satie, and the ‘Cocteau Complex(AUDIO HERE)

Claire Launchbury (RHUL)

Douleurs Exquises :Tears, Telephones and Music transgressed in Cocteau/Poulenc, La Voix humaine, and Duras, La Musica deuxième” (AUDIO HERE)

Laura Anderson (RHUL)
Synchronising Le Sang d’un Poète: Cocteau’s first cinematic-musical engagement



Áine Larkin (RHUL/UCL) – Playing on the Nerves: Performances Musical and Sexual in Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu’ (AUDIO HERE)
Jennifer Rushworth (Worcester College, Oxford).
Proust’s programme notes to Vinteuil’s music: A la recherche in the light of the nineteenth-century debate over absolute and programme music (AUDIO HERE)
Miriam Heywood (UCL) – Searching in silence: Proust’s musical hypertext (AUDIO HERE)
Florent Albrecht (Paris-Sorbonne)
La notion d’impressionnisme à l’épreuve de la poétique : évaluation des enjeux littéraires à la lumière de la musique et de la peinture (AUDIO HERE)
David Evans (St Andrews) – Communication Breakdown: Debussy, Banville and the Trouble with Serenades (AUDIO HERE)
Round Table : Chair Peter Dayan
Respondents : Timothy Mathew (UCL) .
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