Special event

Visiting Chair from the Collège de France – Professor William Marx

28 November 2023
29 November 2023
Target audience: 
University community



Introduction au Cours de poétique de Valéry
Tuesday, 28 November 2023
Time: 16:00
Place: Department of Humanties, Palazzo Paolo Prodi, via Tommaso Gar 14, Trento - Room 004

From 1937 to 1945, French poet Paul Valéry (1871-1945) held the chair of Poetics created for him at the Collège de France, in Paris. For a long time, these famous lectures were known only through rare texts and testimonials. They became something of a myth in the history of literary criticism. In January 2023, William Marx published with Gallimard, in two heavy volumes, an edition of these lectures based on numerous unpublished documents and transcriptions that he miraculously managed to locate. In this edition, we discover that Valéry’s teaching at the Collège de France went far beyond what we could have imagined: he developed a powerful and original theoretical reflection of an anthropological type, which revolutionized the ways of thinking about literature, art, language, the mechanisms of the mind and of society. It is a monument in the history of ideas in the twentieth century.

Les bibliothèques mentales
Wednesday, 29 Novembrer 2023
Time: 16:00
Place: Department of Humanties, Palazzo Paolo Prodi, via Tommaso Gar 14, Trento - Room 001

Minds are libraries. Whether we like it or not, we never read texts on their own, apart from other texts. We take them from mental shelves, among which they make sense and which steer our understanding. Depending on the case, these mental shelves are called canon, heritage, patrimony, or tradition. But these invisible shelves are themselves inseparable from material and visible libraries, which exist in our real world and with which they share an intertwined history.

All lectures will be held in French.

Born in 1966, William Marx is a Professor of Comparative Literatures at the Collège de France, in Paris. A member of the Academia Europaea, laureate of the Prix Montyon of the Académie Française, former fellow of the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study, and former International Francqui Professor, he works on the long-term evolution of aesthetic systems and the status of literature from Antiquity to the present day, and on how these vary from one culture to another, with research on Greek tragedy, Japanese Noh and European modernism, among others. His books have been translated into ten languages. Among the most recent are Vivre dans la bibliothèque du monde (2020) and Des étoiles nouvelles. Quand la littérature découvre le monde (2021). In Italian: Il letterato: Usi e costumi. Da Confucio a Barthes, la storia bizarra di una specie anomala (Guanda, 2011) and La tomba di Edipo. Per una tragedia senza tragico (ETS, 2014). In 2023, he edited Paul Valéry’s Cours de poétique (Gallimard, 2 volumes).

To request information to participate on-line write to eventi.lett [at] unitn.it

Contact Information:
Department of Humanties
via Tommaso Gar, 14 - Trento
tel. +39.0461.281717-2723
e-mail: staffdip.lett [at] unitn.it
Academic Coordinator
Prof. Paolo Tamassia                                                                                 
Department of Humanties                                                             
tel: +39.0461 281737                                                                 
e-mail: paolo.tamassia [at] unitn.it