Institute of French Studies Colloquium
Research director at the CNRS (Centre de sociologie européenne-Paris) and director of the Centre européen de sociologie et de science politique (Paris). She teaches at the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales. She has published La Guerre des écrivains, 1940-1953 (1999), and many articles on literature and politics in France, public intellectuals, translation. Among the books she has edited are: Translatio. Le marché de la traduction en France à l’heure de la mondialisation (2008); Les Contradictions de la globalisation éditoriale (2009); L’Espace intellectuel en Europe (2009). Forthcoming: La Responsabilité de l’écrivain. Littérature et morale en France (19e-20e siècles) (Seuil, 2011).
Authorship and Responsibility: Literary Trials in France from the Restauration to the Liberation
As Foucault suggested, censorship has shaped in large part the relation between the author and his work. Authors' legal responsibilities were redefined after the liberalization of French publishing in 1819. Parliament’s debates of the laws on the press, literary trials (including the cases of Béranger, Courier, Flaubert, Baudelaire, the naturalists, and the purge trials after World War II), and public discussions on the writer’s social role and duties provide a rich material to examine the different conceptions of the author’s responsibility in France and the beliefs in the power of writing that underlie them. Writers developed their own code of ethics in reaction to these conceptions, which contributed to the emergence of an autonomous literary field and to the construction of the figure of the public intellectual, embodied by Zola and by Sartre.