In this lecture Katherine Ibbett (University College London) investigates the trope of the "pitiful spectacle" that characterizes French writing from the religious wars of the late sixteenth century, and considers the reemergence of this trope in the French historical novel of the late seventeenth century.
What does it mean for the new genre of the novel to be built around the memory of the wars, and what can the trope of the pitiful spectacle tell us about early modern readers and their relation to the spectacle of suffering?
Katherine Ibbett is Reader in Early Modern Studies in the Department of French, University College London. She is the author of The Style of the State in French Theater 1630-1660 (Ashgate, 2009) and, with Hall Bjornstad, the co-editor of an edition of Yale French Studies entitled Walter Benjamin's Hypothetical French Trauerspiel (December 2013). She is finishing a book on compassion and its failures in early modern France.
Organised by the ASCI / ASCH Research Group: Cultural Memory, Rhetoric, and Literary Discourse: Dr. Jeroen Jansen and Dr. Kristine Johanson.