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Fragments of Self and World in Rousseau, Zola, and Benjamin

Célia Abele, Society of Fellows, Humanities Council, French and Italian

April 13, 2022 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 010 East Pyne

Department of French and Italian

Jean-Jacques Rousseau inscribed playing cards with his thoughts about his self and the world around him. Emile Zola’s preparatory notes for Le Ventre de Paris combined the practice of writerly self-discipline with extensive textual and visual representations of Paris. Walter Benjamin wrote both his self and the cultural and architectural structures of Paris into his Arcades Project. This talk explores how these material forms embody the intersection between self and world and between science and literature from the Enlightenment to the 20th century in France and Germany.

Célia Abele is a Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows, and Lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and French and Italian


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