10. 03. 2013. 14:06

International conference on Imre Kertész in Paris

An international conference on Imre Kertész, featuring more than thirty writers, critics and academics, will take place in Paris on 4-5 October, organized by the Collège de France and the École Normale Supérieure.

Literary historian Lucie Campos, one of the organizers of the conference told Hungarian Press Agency MTI that Imre Kertész’s works have changed the way we think about European literature, due to their double, Hungarian and European, focus. His works on the holocaust and on totalitarianism have shed a new light on the works of philosophers like Camus or Kierkegaard. Thus, besides his significance for 20th-century literature and literary criticism, Kertész's works are equally important for some philosophers, Campos said, mentioning the names of Marc Crépon and Frédéric Worms among the speakers of the conference.

Clara Royer, the other organizer, who teaches at Paris-Sorbonne IV and specializes in Hungarian literature between the two world wars, mentioned that writers László Földényi, Gábor Schein and László Márton, who were influenced by Kertész’s works, will also speak at the conference.

Kertész’s works are interesting for a wide range of thinkers, she said, a fact which is demonstrated by the interdisciplinary line-up of speakers, ranging from writers and philosophers to literary critics, psychoanalysts and journalists.

Imre Kertész himself will not be able to participate at the event because of his illness, but he gave an hour-long interview to Clara Royer in July in Budapest. The interview, focusing mainly on literary matters, will be published on the opening day of the conference.

All the books written by the Hungarian Nobel Prize winner have been published in French by Actes Sud, but this is the first conference in France which focuses entirely on Kertész’s oeuvre.

See the programme of the conference.

Tags: Imre Kertész