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>
>From: ayates <[log in to unmask]>
>
>Subject: CFP: Testimonial Modernism (9/22/05; NEMLA, 3/2/06-3/5/06)
>
>2006 Northeast Modern Language Association Conference
>March 2-5, 2006
>Philadelphia, PA
>
>Deadline Extended to September 22
>
>Panelists must join or rejoin NEMLA and register for the conference by
>November 30, 2005
>
>Testimonial Modernism
>
>This panel examines the ways in which theories of testimony and witnessing can
>be productively examined with recourse to Modernist literature and through
>this examination, to interrogate the place and method of parrhesia, or
>truth-telling, in Modernism. What gives literature its specific ability to
>tell the truth for writers like Robert Musil, Jean Rhys, and Virginia Woolf
>who writes ģwhere truth is important I prefer to write fictionī? Theories of
>literature of testimony and witnessing, or ģLit Wit,ī have heretofore been
>focused primarily on Holocaust texts and often ģreadī biography into the
>fiction being examined. Just as there is a truth-value to fictitious
>literature that testifies, Jacques Derrida points out the fictive-value of
>truth when it is ģframedī as testimony: ģIn order to remain testimony, it must
>therefore allow itself to be haunted. It must allow itself to be parasitized
>by precisely what it excludes from its inner depths, the possibility, at
>least, of literature.ī For modernist writers, truth is not best expressed
>through the ģrealistī narratives of their predecessors but is articulated
>through stylized techniques that re-present rather than represent. That is,
>the writing makes what is written about present, again. Thus the telling of
>truth and the way of telling are equally at issue for the Modernist.
>ģPostmodernistī thinkers of testimony and witnessing such as Shoshana Felman
>and Giorgio Agamben interpret the experience of Holocaust survivors via their
>writing and World War I poets such as Sigfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen also
>mark experience with the fictional rendering of testimony with themselves as
>witnesses, and truth gets articulated as fiction. Even writers not directly
>involved in the fighting bear witness to events of the social, historical, and
>political moment through fiction and the significance of this choice is what
>this panel will examine. Can Modernist literature be understood as testimony?
>What is the specific ability of literature and of fiction to testify to the
>ģtruthī of Modernism?
>
>Please send abstracts to [log in to unmask] by 9/22/05.

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