How to Investigate Books Like You’ve Never Read Them Before
With Pierre Bayard & Caroline Julliot
Saturday, 23 June 2018 – 2pm to 3pm
This presentation aims to promote public awareness of a significant trend in literary theory — detective criticism. We challenge the idea that writers can flawlessly master the fiction they create, especially when it comes to crime stories. Sometimes authors make fatal errors of judgement and vilify innocent characters, leaving the actual criminals unpunished. These secret villains can be unmasked by using detective criticism, which includes a rigorous investigational approach backed by sound supporting evidence. Additional insights also emerge when the detective criticism approach is applied; these provide an opportunity to re-evaluate some literary classics, including potentially changing our whole vision of these texts. A key idea behind these talks is that the time has come for fiction detectives all around the world to join forces so that justice may prevail.
Pierre Bayard is a psychoanalyst and Professor of French Literature at Paris 8 University. He is the author of numerous essays, including Who killed Roger Ackroyd ?, How to Talk about Books You Haven’t Read and Aurais-je été résistant ou bourreau ? (Would I Have Been in the Resistance or a Torturer?). His latest book, L’Énigme Tolstoïevski (The Tolstoievski Enigma), was published by Éditions de Minuit in 2017.
Caroline Julliot is a senior lecturer in French Literature at Le Mans University. In addition to her work on the writing of history and the links between politics, religion and literature, she is co-leader, with Pierre Bayard, of the InterCriPol research network (ICCPO, International Criminal Criticism Police Organization).
This event is sponsored by The University of Newcastle.