On Rereading: An Investigation into French Literary Practices Today

A public lecture by Laure Murat, UCLA, French and Francophone Studies.

What do people tend to re-read, based on what criteria? Why do children want to hear the same story every night? Can the experience of re-reading a book be compared to listening to a record or seeing a movie again? These are a few questions among others of a questionnaire sent in 2013 to 200 "big readers" in France – writers, critics, scholars, actors, translators, booksellers. The lecture will present an analysis of the answers, that should help us understand rereading not only theoretically, but as a specific cultural practice.

Laure Murat is Professor of French and Francophone Studies at UCLA, whose research and teaching interests include 19th and 20th century literature, cultural history, the history of psychiatry, and gender studies. She is the author of a number of articles and books, including, most recently The Man Who Mistook Himself for Napoleon (L'Homme qui se prenait pour Napoléon: Pour une histoire politique de la folie, Gallimard, 2011).

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Duration: 44:26


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