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Commentary – A Text – A Gesture

15 déc. 2022 - 17 mars 2023
Maison universitaire internationale Université de Strasbourg 11 Presqu'île André Malraux 67100 Strasbourg (France) - Strasbourg (France)


Despite its centrality and its impact in a historical perspective, commentary is usually considered as a tool for deciphering great works or as thin trace of intellectual activity. It is reduced to an ancillary status and denied that of a text per se. In order to enrich our understanding of the commentarial tradition in China and Japan, the twelve contributors to this workshop will consider commentary as textual material and analyze its linguistic, stylistic and rhetorical dimensions. Participants mostly engaged in the field of pre-modern literature will shed light on the textual aspects of commentary, and they will do so in order to better elucidate its relation to an original text. The contributors will more particularly tackle the type of bond with base text that specific commentaries assert through a series of device. Whereas secondary in time and importance, and by essence open to other and new proposals, commentary altogether stages itself in a position of authority. It even happens that rhetorical gestures bring commentary to proclaim itself as taking control over the original text, whereas the absorption of base text within a commentary points to the creation of a new text, with its stylistic feature along with a hollow missing text. All this potential carried by commentary leans in its economics. It is thus necessary to reveal some of the characteristics of commentary and to look for its grammar. Cases of auto-commentary further question the status that commentary designs for itself, i.e. as text proper or appendix. Such questions will be addressed through a number of case studies chosen in the Chinese, Japanese and Western traditions. They will shed light on both the continuum and the differences between commenting, translating and rewriting. Because our attention shifts from patrimonial texts to commentaries, the corpus under study will not be limited to a unique part of traditional bibliographies. However, in order to delineate characteristics from most ancient commentaries, a few examples on so-called philosophical and historical commentaries will be analyzed. Also, as a means to complement previous contributions on commentaries of the masters (zi 子) – one might think of foundational works by Anne Cheng or Rudolf Wagner – this project will more specifically focus on what we conventionally call « literature » (e.g. shi 詩, ci 詞, fu 賦 and xiaoshuo 小說). This project aims at bringing up general – if not theoretical – ideas and questions in relation to the commentary, its textuality, its position within the textual realm and its gestures toward other texts. As such, it will be enriched by contributions from specialists of commentaries and paratexts in the West. It will also benefit from a diachronic perspective by including case studies from all periods of history. Contributors (in alphabetical order): BIZAIS-LILLIG Marie (Associate Professor, University of Strasbourg, France, Visiting scholar at CNRS, UMR 8155 - CRCAO) CLARK Frederic (Assistant Professor, University of Southern Carolina, United States of America) KRAUSHAAR Frank (Professor, University of Latvia) LESIGNE-AUDOLY Evelyne (Associate Professor, University of Strasbourg, France) LOMOVA Olga (Professor, Charles University, Czech Republic) LUCA Dinu (Associate Professor, National Taiwan Normal University) NICOLL-JOHNSON Evan (Assistant Lecturer, University of Alberta, Canada) PENNANECH Florian (Independent Scholar, France) SCHIMMELPFENNIG Michael (Senior Lecturer, Australian National University) SVENSSON Martin (Senior Lecturer, University of Gothenburg, Sweden) TIAN Xiaofei (Professor, Harvard University, United States of America) VIEILLARD-BARON Michel (Professor, Inalco, Paris) Organizer: Marie Bizais-Lillig
Discipline scientifique : Littératures

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