The Changing Forms of Discourse: Painting; Philosophy; Film ICLA 2022

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Adelaide M. Russo


Contemporary poets engage with multiple media. Whether they collaborate with painters, filmmakers, or comment on political events, their discourse changes with the object of their attention. The French poet Michel Deguy (b.1930) is exemplary in his choice of multiple subjects which inspire his poems and essays. Trained as a philosopher, Deguy has had a sustained dialogue with Jean-Luc Nancy in recent years. Nancy has replaced Heidegger whom he translated and whose thought engaged him in his early years. Deguy and Nancy have both addressed the enduring vestiges of Christianity and how these symbols have mutated at a time when Christianity has lost its ethical force. He has also produced over thirty artists books with the engraver and mixed-media specialist, Bertrand Dorny. Deguy has used his comments on Dorny’s collages to express his aesthetic principles, for example in the 2004 artist’s book, Chirurgie esthétique and his thoughts on ecology in his 2011 collaboration, Écologiques. In his 1990, collective volume, Au Sujet de Shoah, Deguy initiated a serious analysis in his exploration and celebration of Claude Lanzmann’s epic documentary Shoah. More recently he has been the object of Marie-Claude Treilhou’s documentary, Comme si, Comme ça. He has used the film format to summarize his major thoughts on poetry and poetics. Currently, he is using the immediacy of the internet to convey his thoughts on current political events, and questions of social justice. This presentation identifies the specificity of Deguy’s discourse when he addresses images in painting, philosophical and political questions, and film. What are the common rhetorical and argumentative strategies? Which rhetorical forms and arguments does he favor in each separate medium.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Individual Sessions: Words and Images Crossing Literary and Critical Borders