This two-day symposium will bring together Barthes and Beckett scholars to discuss these two iconic twentieth-century figures.
‘Waiting’, ‘Silence’, ‘Fade Out’, ‘The Absent One’: these figures from Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse (1977) are some of the most recursive tropes and preoccupations of Samuel Beckett’s fictional, dramatic and poetic œuvre, just as the latter is, quite plausibly, an essential constituent of the cultural ‘Image-repertoire’ on and within which many of Barthes’s own discursive writings operate. And yet, kinship between these two iconic twentieth-century figures — nourished in turn by a dense network of shared cultural, intellectual and political influences — has remained latent at the very best.
“Samuel Beckett and Roland Barthes: a ‘dialogue de sourds’” is the first academic conference of its kind to provide the means for this dialogue to finally take place and be heard. True to the conjunctive spirit of its title, the two-day symposium will bring together Barthes and Beckett scholars to facilitate, from our contemporary vantage point, a belated and overdue conversation between the writers.
Location: University of Leeds - English (Alumni Room) House 10 Cavendish Road