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Armen Lubin - DELC Research Seminar
Date: 28 November 2012 Time: 5.00 pm
Venue: Bowland North Seminar Room 24
Department of European Languages & Cultures Research Seminar
'Travail d'abolition': a poetics of statelessness in Armen Lubin
According to Emil Cioran in his essay 'Avantages de l'exil', the condition of members of stateless populations is comparable with that of modernist writing subject, who undertakes to wrest him/herself away from given reality. In passing, the same essay furthermore equates these two figures with the invalid, a figure dispossessed of corporeal agency. This paper is concerned with the work of Chahnour Kerestedjian (1903-1974), an Istanbul-born writer and member of the Armenian diaspora, who emigrated to France in 1922, and in whose French-language poet-persona, Armen Lubin, the horizons of all three figures invoked by Cioran come to intersect.
Consigned by chronic tuberculosis of the bones to an interminable cycle of sojourns in French hospitals and sanatoria, Lubin produced a number of collections of poetry, of which Sainte patience (1951) and Les Hautes Terrasses (1957) will provide the focus for this analysis, alongside the prose texts collected in Transfert nocturne (1955). Bound up with the poet's preoccupation with his own invalidity, Lubin's texts dramatize situations in which agency is limited or suspended, and where the communicative function of language periodically recedes. While occasionally thematized directly, at a more tacit level the poet's statelessness is inflected in opacity and ironic detachment. Tentatively emerging from these texts is a poetics of statelessness contingent upon a de-naturalisation of linguistic utterances and the effacement of ontological security.
Who can attend: Anyone
Associated staff: Greg Kerr
Organising departments and research centres: European Languages and Cultures
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