A new open-access electronic journal is born: «Suite française». It is dedicated to French culture in all its accepted senses and disciplines, traditional and pop: from politics to art, from history to fashion. The first issue concentrates on a great scholar whose interdisciplinary works represent the sense of our initiative well: Zvetan Todorov (1939-2017).
Thinking (with) Todorov
His writings form an impressive list of titles, a succession of great publishing successes among which, however, it is not always easy to find one's way: how do Introduction à la littérature fantastique (1970) and La conquête de l’Amérique (1982) relate to each other? What brings Nous et les Autres (1989) together to Éloge de l’individu (2000)? Is there a common thread between Les Énnemis intimes de la démocratie (2012) and his latest work, Le Triomphe de l'artiste, which appeared posthumously only a few months ago?
It is difficult not to give in to the temptation to bypass the obstacle: it is no coincidence that, when delivering the prestigious prix Charles Veillon, way back in 1998, the speaker brilliantly dodged the issue defining Todorov … un lecteur décidé.
Today perhaps it is no longer time to seek shortcuts. The recent demise of this leading actor of French speaking culture – literary critic, philosopher and semiologist as well historian of ideas - calls on us to (start to) come to terms with a considerable intellectual legacy.
The proposal of «Suite française» is to start from the man and his production: contributions (in French, English or Italian) may, without ruling out other suggestions, focus on:
- aspects of his biography, such as the exile's experience, his ideas on the country he chose, his national and international academic life, relations with publishers also abroad;
- the development, content, reception of one or more of his works;
- the major thematic categories (such as the fantastic, otherness, the canon of conquest, the crossroad of democracy, the totalitarian experience, the interpretation of the récit), also through other themes and/or authors, if the work contributes to casting light on such categories.
Manner of presentation:
Proposals, written in French, English and Italian, no more than 2,000 characters, with a provisional title and a very short biographical note, must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than February 28th, 2018.
The outcome of the selection will be notified before the end of March.
The final articles, between 20,000 and 50,000 characters (including notes and spaces) and drawn up according to the submission guidelines of the magazine, must arrive before the end of July for double blind review. The issue is scheduled to come out in autumn: «Suite française» 1/2018.
Cristina Cassina, Dipartimento Civiltà e Forme del Sapere, Università di Pisa