Transnational Perspectives on the Writing of Artists’ Lives, 19th-21st centuries

25Jan2018 26Jan2018 10:00

Event

An interdisciplinary workshop, with keynotes by Christopher Wiley (University of Surrey) and Joanny Moulin (Aix-Marseille University).

Alexander Pushkin tells about the rivalry between two famous composers in his theatre play Mozart and Salieri (1830) ; André Maurois narrates the life story of Shelley in Ariel ou la vie de Shelley (1923);  The Moon and Sixpence  (1919) is a fictional biography of Paul Gauguin written by Somerset Maugham and Symphonie Pathétique  (1935) is Klaus Mann’s biographical novel of Tchaikovsky. More recent examples are the literary biography of Jane Austen written by the Canadian novelist Carol Shields in 2001;  Caryl Phillips’ Radio Play A Kind of Home: James Baldwin in Paris (2004) and Julian Barnes’s novel The Noise of Time (2016) in which he examines the biography of Shostakovich.  

All these examples show literary writers who, in many different ways, construct their subject’s life stories in order to reflect on life and art and to define their own aesthetic position. Whether they criticize their ‘hero’ or identify with him/her as a formative model and make it their own, they establish a trans-national relation with this particular artist.

We will further investigate the dynamics of such transnational relations and appropriations in a two-day international workshop on artists’ biographies in the 19th-21st centuries. We will focus on the lives of artists, written by artists, such as literary biographies, biographical novels and operas or theatre plays that clearly rely on biographical elements.

Programme

Thursday 25 january

10.00-10.15
Coffee and Tea

Opening Session

10.15-10.30
Welcome and introduction
10.30-11.15
Keynote by Christopher Wiley (University of Surrey) ‘Musical Biography as a National and Transnational Genre’
11.15 -11.45
Discussion

11.45-12.00
Coffee break

Panel I : Literature, music and biography

12.00-12.30
Krisztina Lajosi, (University of Amsterdam), ‘The Musician as Icon. Liszt’s biography of Chopin’
12.30-13.00
Sarah Crombach (University of Amsterdam), ‘Nizami Ganjavi’s significance for nation building in Soviet Azerbeijan’

13.00-14.00
Lunch

Panel II: Literary Biography

14.00-14.30
Suze van der Poll (University of Amsterdam), ‘Edmund Gosse’s biography of Henrik Ibsen’
14.30-15.00
Maryam Thirriard (Aix-Marseille University), ‘English and French Aspects of Life-writing in Harold Nicolson’s Concept of Biography’
15.00-15.15
Coffee break

Panel III: Life, literature and art

15.15-15.45
Guido Snel (University of Amsterdam), ‘The lives of imaginary-real artists. From Schwob to Kiš to Bolaño – an attempt at a genealogy’
15.45-16.15
Maximiliano Jiménez (University of Amsterdam), ‘The impossible demands of life and art: The Transposition of the Artistic Gaze in Michael Cunningham’s The Hours’

16.15- 17.30
Drinks (and optional dinner in the evening)

 

Friday 26 January

09.30-09.45
Coffee and tea

Opening session

09.45-10.30
Keynote lecture Joanny Moulin (Aix-Marseille University) ‘Transnational Artists’ Lives are a Rare Species’
10.30-11.00
General discussion

11.00-11.15
Coffee break

Panel IV: Literature and the visual arts

11.15-11.45
Sander Bax (Tilburg University), ‘Art essays as (auto)biographies: K. Schippers’
11.45-12.15
Manet van Montfrans (University of Amsterdam), ‘La vie des autres – Das Leben der Anderen. Vie de Paula Modersohn Becker by Marie Darrieussecq: between Portrait and Selfportrait’
12.15-12.45
Marleen Rensen (University of Amsterdam), ‘Emile Verhaeren’s portrait of Rembrandt’

12.45-13.45
Lunch

Panel V: Engaging with artists’ lives

13.45- 14.15
Anna Menyhért (University of Amsterdam), ‘A Free Woman: Writing About Renée Erdős’s Life’
14.15-14.45
Tamar Hager (Tel-Hai College) , ‘A Crucial Meeting: Writing Julia Margaret Cameron’

Closure

14.45-15.00
Summing up and closure

Registration

Registration is free of charge. Please register before 15 January by sending an email to M.J.M.Rensen@uva.nl.

Venue: University Library, Potgieterzaal

Published by  Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies