Colloque International : « Vladimir Nabokov et la France »

Les Chercheurs enchantés : Société Française Vladimir Nabokov

Paris, 30 mai-1er juin 2013



OLSEN, Lance – University of Utah, USA
Not-Knowings: Debord’s Influence on Nabokov’s The Real Life of Sebastian Knight.

« Every writer creates his own precursors, » Jorge-Luis Borges once reminded us.  « His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future. »  In the spirit of Borges’s mischievous and productive observation, my presentation will listen for the not-knowings present in The Real Life of Sebastian Knight and its resonances with Debord’s politics of the spectacle, especially in terms of Nabokov’s novel’s (his first in English, written between 1938 and 1939 in Paris) disruptive onto-epistemology and its strategies for derailing capitalist notions of temporality, where time is money, and so is quantified, mechanized, stabilized, made to run in a beeline that disavows mystery, complexity, and subjectivity. 

Lance Olsen is author of more than 20 books of and about experimental writing practices, including, most recently, the novel Calendar of Regrets and the anti-textbook Architectures of Possibility: After Innovative Writing.  He is a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow, and spent this past spring as a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.  Olsen serves as chair of the Board of Directors at Fiction Collective Two and teaches experimental narrative theory and practice at the University of Utah.

 

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