Maurice Couturier


Publications


Cycnos

Vladimir Nabokov, Annotating vs Interpreting Nabokov-

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La problématique de l'auteur -

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NABOKOV : At the Crossroads of Modernism and Postmodernism -

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Cycnos | Volume 24 n°1

“Annotating vs. Interpreting Nabokov: The Author as a Helper or a Screen?”

The debate about annotating vs. interpreting turns around the problem of the over determination of the text and the kind of contribution the reader can, may or must bring to it. Barthes and Foucault, while proclaiming the death of the author, clearly favored interpretation. Henry James, in “The Figure in the Carpet”, intimated that the author continues to inhabit his work of fiction as a figure, and to hold sway over his reader. Nabokov held such “strong opinions” in his interviews that his best readers have devoted most of their time and energy to annotate his works, being afraid that any interpretation might run counter to the author’s “intention”. This paper tries to lay some of the theoretical foundations necessary to understand this difficult question.

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Cycnos | Volume 9

Introduction

“La lutte contre les différentes formes de censure et pour la liberté d’expression ne date évidemment pas d’aujourd’hui. Les grandes crises politiques et religieuses ou l’invention de nouveaux médias en ont chaque fois réactualisé la nécessité. C’est ainsi qu’à l’époque de la guerre civile anglaise, crise précédée par la réforme et l’essor de l’imprimerie, Milton se lançait dans un combat pour la liberté de la presse et de l’édition en publiant son Areopagitica : A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicens’d Printing (1644), considérant déjà que la première liberté était “the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely accordi...”

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Cycnos | Volume 9 | 1.

John Cleland contre John McClellan :roman et censure aux E. U., 1957-1977

“La censure, dont on pourrait penser qu’elle a toujours été l’adversaire farouche du roman, s’est parfois révélée, de manière perverse son alliée. C’est parce que le sexe n’est pas présentable, représentable, que, d’une part, s’est perpétuée une littérature pornographique partiellement clandestine réservée à ceux qui ont les moyens de se la procurer et que, d’autre part, est apparu le roman moderne. Dans son dictionnaire, Samuel Johnson définissait déjà celui-ci comme “a small tale, generally of love”1 et Tony Tanner disait plus récemment, dans Adultery in the Novel : ...”

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Annexe : "Fiction and Censorship in the U.S.:A Chronology and a Bibliography"

“A chronology 1821 John Cleland’s Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure is declared by a Massachussets court to be “wicked and obscene”. 1865 Congress passes the Postal Act, making it a crime to deposit an “obscene book or other publication of a vulgar and indecent character” in the U.S. mail. 1868 Lord Chief Justice Cockburn,  in Regina v. Hicklin,  lays  down what becomes known as the Hicklin rule as a test for obscenity. A publication is obscene if isolated passages, not the work taken as a whole, could deprave and corrupt those whose minds are o...”

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Cycnos | Volume 10 n°1

Introduction

“This special issue of Cycnos  presents the proceedings of the Nice conference on Nabokov which was held at the “Faculté des Lettres, Arts et Sciences Humaines” on June 24, 25 and 26 1992 under the auspices of the CRELA (Centre de Recherche sur les Ecritures de Langue Anglaise). It was the third international conference on Nabokov after the Yale conference organized by Vladimir E. Alexandrov, and the Moscow conference, and it brought together some of the best specialists on this author. The topic I selected for this conference, “Autobiography, Biography and Fiction,” was dictated by a number of circumstances, the main one being...”

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The Distinguished Writer vs the Child

“"I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child."1 In the foreword of Strong Opinions, Nabokov explains that, because of his incapacity to speak in public, he wrote all his lectures and most of his interviews beforehand. When he was interviewed on French television in 1975, few people realized that the display of his works translated into French, on the camera side of his desk, had been devised to conceal his cards, a gimmick echoed in the trompe-l'œil teapot. In the same foreword, he explains how he edited all the int...”

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Cycnos | Volume 14 n°2

Introduction

“Ayant constaté, à l’occasion de la parution de mon livre La figure de l’auteur, combien le sujet que je soulevais, sans le résoudre bien sûr, suscitait d’intérêt, j’ai profité du Congrès de la Société des Anglicistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur, qui s’est tenu à Nice au printemps 1997, pour organiser un atelier sur “la problématique de l’auteur”. Ce fut l’occasion d’un fructueux échange sur cette épineuse question. Face à ce sujet, tabou pour les uns, insaisissable mais désirable, voire enviable, pour les autres, il a été parfois difficile aux interlocuteurs de trouver un terrain d’entente mais les enjeux du débat ont, je...”

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Cycnos | Volume 12 n°2

Introduction

“The second Nice conference on Nabokov took place exactly forty years after the publication of Lolita whose opening pages provide an idyllic picture of the French Riviera. This novel, which the organizer had not been allowed to teach at the Sorbonne in the 70s, has finally been awarded the status of a classic in France by the Agrégation jury which has put it on the syllabus this year. Many of the Nabokovians who attended the first conference in 1992 were present at this one, too, with the exception of Vladimir Alexandrov, Gennady Barabtarlo, Stephen Parker and David Rampton. Dmitri Nabokov, who was still recuperating after a tiring though ext...”

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Censorship and the Authorial Figure in Ulysses and Lolita

“In his essay “What is an author?” published in 1969,1 Foucault examined the relationship between the text and its author and the “manner in which the text points to this ‘figure’ that, at least in appearance, is outside it and antecedes it.”2 Yet he still subscribed to some of the major structuralist dogmas at the time, acknowledging that “writing has freed itself from the dimension of expression,” and that the “mark of the writer is reduced to nothing more than the singularity of his absence,”...”

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Cycnos | Volume 14 n°2 | 1.

Postface à La Figure de l’auteur

This article is a rereading of La figure de l’auteur which takes into account some of the criticism levelled at it since its publication and spells out some of the lacunae. Elaborating on the theory broached in the book and itemising some of its presuppositions, M. Couturier pays particular attention to the academic’s pedagogical and political responsibility towards his standard audience, namely his own students.

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Cycnos | Volume 14 n°2 | 3.

Yours Faithfully, the Author

“I have a colleague at the university who finds himself in a strange predicament. He is a comparatively well-known specialist of a famous writer, and his small but fervent coterie of aficionados (should I say “aficionadas?”) among his students often address him by that more famous name, no doubt as a tribute to his supreme act of impersonation. The same colleague, who, I hope, will never read these pages, is also cursed with a striking resemblance to a handsome and amiable political leader who is much better known in France than the aforementioned “famous writer.” My colleague had never had to complain about this resemblance until a mentally disturbed girl of twenty-six accident...”

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Cycnos | SOMMAIRES | Volume 2 | III.

“Do I Know You ?” : author-reader relation-ship in The Crying ol Lot 49

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Cycnos | SOMMAIRES | Volume 3 | I.

Free Indirect Style and Interior Monologue Revisited

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