Prof. Sara Bédard-Goulet:
Uses of Cinema in Les Grandes Blondes and Envoyée Spéciale by Jean Echenoz
Monday, September 10th 2018
Jakobi 2-114 at 18.15
In this paper, I will analyse how the cinematographic image can be included in literary works and, more particularly, how it affects contemporary narratives in Jean Echenoz’s novels Les Grandes blondes (1995, translated in English as Big Blondes in 1997) and Envoyée spéciale (2016, translated in English as Special Envoy in 2017). This contemporary French author sustains tight links with cinema, whether through direct references – to certain films, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s – or indirect ones, to film genres (road movie, adventure or spy movies, etc.) or through “cinematographic metalanguage”, which transforms characters into actors and their environment in a set. However, his works cannot be considered within the scope of remake, since they do not aim to re-present entire film sequences nor do they try to extend them. Although, in the context of cinema recycling and re-use, we can consider these novels through what Nicolas Bourriaud calls, in the field of contemporary art, “postproduction” and use this concept in order to identify the stakes and forms of cinema uses in both novels, as well as their effect on the readers.”
Sara Bédard-Goulet is Professor of Romance Studies* at the University of Tartu.
*The position of the professor of German Studies is financed by the European Union Regional Development Fund through University of Tartu's ASTRA project “PER ASPERA”.