Guest Editor: Pierre-Alexandre Sicart
Submission of full essays due January 31, 2019
Autobiography? Fiction? Autofiction. This portmanteau word, coined by Serge Doubrovsky to describe his own literary production, was borrowed by Jacques Lecarme to classify the works of other authors, such as Alain Robbe-Grillet (who accepted it nonchalantly) or François Nourissier (who rejected it violently). Since then, it has spread from the academic world to the mass media, and from literature to other arts (cinematography, painting, even music), though its exact definition is still a topic of fiery debate.
For this special issue, however, we will gladly consider any paper on Doubrovsky—who, before he won awards as an author, was better known for his scholarly work on, notably, Corneille, Proust, Sartre, and psychocriticism.
The proposals submitted for this special issue are not required to even mention autofiction. A Corneille scholar, for instance, could choose to look back at Corneille et la dialectique du héros: Is this work still relevant today? Is it still read, and if so, how, and by whom? In retrospect, how much of it reflects Corneille, how much Doubrovsky, and how much a certain chapter in the history of literary criticism?
Even scholars more interested in Doubrovsky’s autofictions should not feel compelled to make autofiction the topic of their article. Other aspects of Doubrovsky’s literary work can and should be explored, such as how he represents (his relationship with) women, masculinity, aging, or death.
Finally, we would be interested in reading articles on the last book published under Doubrovsky’s name. Between 1970 and 1977, Doubrovsky typed around 9,000 pages of a “novel” that Grasset rejected until successive cuts left us with the 460 pages of Fils. Thirty-seven years later, thanks to Isabelle Grell, the original typescript was published as Le Monstre, but to this day, few scholars have dared wrangle with it.
How does Le Monstre differ from Fils? What did Fils lose and gain from the cuts? Is there a pattern as to which passages were removed? Do those passages shed new light on Fils? on Doubrovsky’s whole creative production? Do they foreshadow the autofictions that followed Fils? Conversely, do they sketch stories or initiate themes the author never touched again? Is this huge book the one that “says it all” about its author?
Proposals/abstracts of around 200 words should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org before 31 August 2018. Once a proposal is selected, by 30 September 2018, authors will have until 31 January 2019 to submit an article of up to 10,000 words, notes included. (No lower limit.) All contributions must be in English, must adhere to the MLA style sheet (8th edition), and must be saved as .doc or .docx.