THURSDAY, 4 - 5:^0 P.M.
Most importantly, the. locket becomes a golden circumference containing a point which will enable
the hero to achieve his potentiality. Nodier's
circles lead us to a centering point symbolic of
spiritual dilation or a palingenetic leap forward
to the infinite.
Andree Thorns, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
"The Language of Geometry in the Work of Alain
Modern art ideology sees geometric form as the
basis of perception and the artist as a man compelled to analyze forms in terms of relationship
and tension. Alain Robbe-Grillet, in the footsteps of the many modern artists who have entered
this age of reasoned and conscious creation,
weaves a new literary textile on a warp of geometric language. In his constructional work the
geometric symbol becomes alive, bears its own
significance, and speaks a language which delights
the.intellect. Not only does it reveal the structural foundation of Robbe-Grillet's Nouveau Roman
but also serves to express the author's phenomeno-
logical perception of reality and fantasy.
Tom Brown, Brigham Young University. "The Notion of
Mirror and its Effect in Sartre's No Exit.
Imagine a situation with eternal seeing of others
and not self. This is the case with Garcin, Ines
and Estelle in Sartre's play, No Exit. Seeing is
ever-present because there is no darkness, and the
eyes canno't close because the three have no eyelids. How then will the characters know who they
are or what they look like? Without the usual
reassurance of reflections of self in a mirror,
these three lost ones may begin to doubt their own
existence. There is a way out. The self may be
reflected in the description of the others, but
there is a terrible risk. What if the others
falsify? What if the image is blurred or altered?
How will one ever know?
OCCULT AND SACRED
Chair: Richard Hersh, Florida Atlantic University.
Martin Schwarz, East Carolina University. "The Occult
as Indicator of the Times: The Exorcist and The
No abstract available.
Robert F. Geary, James Madison University. "Gothic
Shockers New and Old: Supernatural Horrors and
Much critical discussion treats today's enormously popular fiction of supernatural horror as a
holdover from the "childhood of the race," something bound to vanish in a modern, rational, secularized world. Yet such fiction's popularity
suggests the inadequacy of the critical paradigm
of an age of profane consciousness. Modern secularization is a most complex process which, by
weakening tradional beliefs, actually proves
conducive to the free-floating numinous terror of
the modern Gothics. Indeed, a frequent theme in
the Victorian ghost stories and today's shockers
is the shallowness of the rationalistic mindset
which smugly (and to its peril) dismisses the
supernatural (and supernatural fiction).
FRIDAY, MARCH 25
9-10:30 A. M.
ANIMALS AND SOCIAL SATIRE I
Chair: Christa-Maria Beardsley, Indiana University at
Gisela Vitt-Maucher, The Ohio State University.
"E.T.A. Hoffmann: From Cat To Flea."
Humanoid animals feature in many of Hoffmann's
works. In his peculiar double-novel Life and
Opinions of the Tomcat Murr the cat is conceived
as the philistine counterpart to the "other" hero,
the talented and tormented artist Kreisler. Immersed in self-idolatry Murr abounds in the mannerisms and vices of the bourgeois whom Hoffmann
despises. In Master Flea the socially embarrassing flea represents positive qualities which
Hoffmann finds lacking in human society: he is the
Master of a republican nation with an indomitable
drive for freedom and equality. But the flea's
desire for freedom extends into the erotic realm
as well, creating surrealistically fantastic
scenes of outrageous humor.
George Reinhardt, University of Connecticut, Storrs.
"Swiss Animal Satire as Psychological Safety
Its unparalleled prosperity has exacted a toll
from Switzerland's citizens. The premium placed
on pragmatism leads to an insistence on thrift and
conformity inimical to outpourings of the irrational. For those Swiss who feel penned in but
choose to remain at home, artistic creation can
offer a kind of psychological safety valve. An
examination of animal symbols in works ranging in
time from the drawings of the sixteenth-century
Urs Graf to the theatre of Durrenmatt and contemporary children's literature illustrates both the
release of the imagination and a trend towards increasing emphasis on didacticism and more rigid
control of the fantastic.
J. Brooks Bouson, Mundelein College, Illinois. "The
Repressed Grandiosity of Gregor Samsa: Narcissism
in Kafka's Metamorphosis."
Reading Metamorphosis in a new context — that
provided by Heinz Kohut in his pioneering studies
in the narcissistic personality disorder — provides a new insight not only into the underlying
cause and meaning of Gregor's transformation, but
also the core of his predicament. In the character
of Gregor Samsa, Kafka depicts Kohut's "Tragic
Man," the narcissistically vulnerable individual
suffering from a crumbling, threatened sense of
self. Gregor's transformation reveals at once his
sense of worthlessness and powerlessness to con-