Lecture by Alice Kaplan on Albert Camus’ “The Stranger”

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Monday, October 24, 2016 4 p.m. (Reception at 3:30)
Location: 311 Glasscock Building, Texas A&M University

Alice Kaplan
John M. Musser Professor of French, Yale University

Catherine Hélie, Editions Gallimard
Catherine Hélie, Editions Gallimard

The Stranger was  published in 1942, in the depths of the Nazi Occupation, by a young unemployed journalist from Algeria who would normally never have had a hearing in Paris.  In my lecture, I will explore the making of this phenomenal literary success:  Camus’ initial failure as novelist, his search for a new style, the odyssey of his manuscript and the conditions of its publication. That this strange book should become the best known French novel in the United States and still the most widely taught, that it changed the whole direction of the novel, here and in France… that is, in literary terms, a miracle.

About the Presenter
Alice Kaplan, John M. Musser Professor of French, joined the faculty at Yale in 2009 after many years on the faculty at Duke University, where she was the founding director of the Duke University Center for French and Francophone Studies and a professor of Romance Studies, Literature, and History. Her first book, Reproductions of Banality (1986), was a theoretical exploration of French fascism. Since then she has published books on Céline’s anti-semitic pamphlets (Sources et citations dans ‘Bagatelles pour un massacre’), on the treason trial of Robert Brasillach (The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach), and on American courts-martial in newly liberated France (The Interpreter). The Interpreter was the recipient of the 2005 Henry Adams Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government; The Collaborator was awarded the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award in History and was a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critic’s Circle awards. She is probably best known for her memoir, French Lessons (1993), which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award in biography/autobiography. Her literary translations include books by Roger Grenier (Piano Music for Four Hands, Another November, and The Difficulty of Being a Dog), Louis Guilloux (OK, Joe), and Evelyne Bloch-Dano (Madame Proust). Her newest book, Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis (2012), was published by the University of Chicago Press and the Editions Gallimard. Current research interests include World War II and post-war France, literature and law, biography/autobiography, and French cultural studies.

Support provided by:
Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research
France/Texas A&M University Institute (Centre Pluridisciplinaire


Directions and Parking:
311 Glasscock Building, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4214
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The closest parking is in the Central Campus Garage (CCG) on the campus of Texas A&M University. Enter on Spence Street from Lubbock Street. Proceed through gate (gate will lift automatically). Proceed through stop sign. Turn left into Central Campus Garage entrance and take a ticket at the gate.
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Google Maps directions from intersection of University Dr. and Texas Ave. to Central Campus Garage (CCG).