De l'horrible danger de la lecture
How have writers and artists over the centuries conveyed the magical powers of reading? How have they represented the figure of the reader, in intense concentration, gracious repose or serious study, as an emblem of this magic?
In the “Terrible Danger of Reading” (Voltaire), we will examine the history and practice of reading, as well as its consequences, including artists’ images of men and women writing, essays by some of today¹s greatest writers as they consider reading as an act - Fuentès, Manguel, Barthes, Proust, etc. -. .Novels such as Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary; Bernhard Schlinck’s Le Liseur; Raymond Jean’s imagined sequel to Madame Bovary: Mademoiselle Bovary. The same author¹s curious novel La Lectrice and the even more curious spin-off film “La Lectrice” (starring MiouMiou). Including some detours to examine other great readers, such as Cervantès’ Don Quixote.
Ranging freely between the classics and contemporary pop culture, we will concentrate on the problem of inter-textuality (what does it mean when one book refers to another book?), the relation between the real and the imaginary, the place of reading in a life, and the problem of attempting to represent the interior life of readers.