- Life at LUMS
- Dr. Aamir Khan Delivers a Talk on French Literature
Dr. Aamir Khan Delivers a Talk on French Literature
Dr. Aamir Khan, Associate Professor of Marketing at the Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB), LUMS delivered a literary talk titled, The Author is Dead: Meaning and Interpretation of French literature in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, at the University of Punjab (PU) on Wednesday, July 11, 2012.
The talk was attended by the students and faculty of both the English and French Literature departments at PU. The focus of the discussion was on the role of “first person” in the 18th century novel, including both the memoir novel (Manon Lescaut by Abbe Prevost and La Religieuse by Diderot) and the epistolary novel (Liaisons Dangereuses by Laclos). Then, the evolution of third person narration which started in the first half of the 19th century, was discussed for which Stendhal’s masterpiece, “Le Rouge et Le Noir” was taken as an example.
During the session, the text from Le Rouge (Julien Sorel seducing Mme de Renal but thinking in terms of war) was also thoroughly analysed. Since the audience included students and faculty from post graduate level the discussion was a bit technical but the idea was to see how the narrative structure of the novel both constrains the novelist and allows him to experiment. In the end, it is up to the reader to find the interpretation that best stands the test of criticism, without referring to what the novelist really means. Dr. Khan and the audience both discussed other relevant work, both in the novel genre (Madame Bovary, Crime and Punishment, but also the novels of D. H. Lawrence) and in other genres, including 17th century French tragedy (Racine’s plays) and even the movies (Predator, Rab nay bana di jori).
The audience, comprising of brilliant researchers, asked probing questions and made insightful comments. Overall the session was very knowledge enriching experience with a thorough exchange of perspectives which were thought provoking for many.
The session concluded at the certificates distribution ceremony to the post-graduate students of the two departments for which Dr. Khan was invited by Dr. Amera Raza, Chairperson English Department, and Dr. Saleha Nazeer, Chairperson French Department at PU.