Presses universitaires de la Méditerranée

  • "Outside. Outside of society. That's where I want to be. If you're looking, that's where you'll find me." This is what Patti Smith sang back in 1978. Where is she in 2015? With all the fame and recognition. With thirteen original albums released, her poetry regularly reprinted, her paintings and photographs on show in galleries around the world, an induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a National Book Award for her first prose work, Just Kids. Is she still outside? Is she still the iconic, rebellious, rock'n'roll figure of her youth? Patti Smith has lived a rock'n'roll life, a life of words and sounds, of poetry and images. She has slept on doorsteps, on park benches. But perhaps she never meant to be outside. Perhaps she did not want to be a rebel. Perhaps being outside is only a price she had to pay. These are the issues addressed in this collection of essays, not from a historical or sociological angle, but through her artistry. An attempt at locating Patti Smith by assessing her trajectory, her complex, unpredictable moves. "Oh I just move in another dimension," she sings on "Ain't It Strange", before inviting us to come and join her. We have tried and followed her.

  • Depuis le vol de la lettre par l'esclave qui accédait à l'écriture au péril de sa vie, le parcours de la lettre noire se fait en référence à la liberté et à l'illettrisme. Écrire est une conquête, un signe d'humanité, un miroir tendu au maître. L'oralité originaire du parler noir et le topos du « livre qui parle » hantent l'écriture de romans complexes qui mettent en abyme les aléas des correspondances. L'épître est aussi, à l'instar des lettres des soeurs Grimké, cette lettre « ouverte », héritière du sermon, qui s'inscrit dans une démarche politique. Lettre de protestation, lettre intime qui se fait publique, elle participe alors aux luttes qui jalonnent l'histoire noire. Retour aux sources, elle est le matériau brut de l'artiste Raymond Saunders. Elle intervient. Elle insiste.
    Retracer la trajectoire de la lettre dans la culture afro-américaine, tel est le but de ces essais qui portent sur les lettres de prison (George Jackson et Mumia Abu-Jamal), le roman épistolaire (Alice Walker) et ses avatars dans le roman postmoderne contemporain (John Edgar Wideman, Percival Everett), et les correspondances d'écrivains avec leurs éditeurs (James Baldwin, Charles Chesnutt, Richard Wright).

  • From hard scrabble origins on the Plains of North Dakota, to longshoremen organizing on Manhattan's West Side docks, to living the life of a Bohemian poet in Los Angeles and beyond, Thomas McGrath's literary aspirations took him far from his humble beginnings.For over six decades, McGrath created poems based largely on the themes of love, work, and political justice. His love of the prairie and his early years on a working farm were central to his life. The virtues of the agrarian community plus the Catholic faith of his family, shaped his Old West character. He was a political progressive and at times a member of the Communist Party of America. In the 1950's, he was brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee and blacklisted following his appearance. McGrath was the consummate non-conformist in his life and art. He refused to submit to the philosophy that politics and poetry must be kept separate. His epic work, Letter to an Imaginary Friend, is anchored by progressive politics, political and social theory, his love of family, his love of love, and, arguably, the greatest layering of language idioms in the history of American poetry.

  • Thomas Pynchon was born on May 8, 1937 in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. He started his writing career in his high school days, published his early stories in a series of magazines, came to fame in 1963 with his first novel, V., and has since been consistently praised as one of the major American writers of all times. The papers in this volume address all of Thomas Pynchon's works to date, from his earliest production in Voice of the Hamster to Inherent Vice. The collection brings together fifteen specialists from three continents-America, Australia and Europe. They contribute to the current debates on Pynchon's supposed "post-modernism," either by revitalizing established postmodern critical perspectives and applying them to seldom read texts, or by reappraising Pynchon's fiction within broader literary and philosophical contexts. Though individual approaches vary, common concerns are expressed, among which a marked interest in the reappraisal of ethical and political dimensions, as well as a focus on the questions of return and the potential emergence of the new out of the old.