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Guest lecture by Thomas Baldwin on Barthes and Proust

'Survival of the Fireflies: Barthes on Proust’.

Thomas Baldwin (University of Kent, UK) will give the lecture 'Survival of the Fireflies: Barthes on Proust’ on the 1st November in connection to the research group Images of Knowledge.

T. Baldwin


In Survivance des lucioles(2009), Georges Didi-Huberman explores the war between different registers of light: between the bright, invading light and ferocious projectors of a society of the spectacle and of control and the glimmers of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s disappearing fireflies. The loss of the fireflies’ modest, intermittent glow from the Italian countryside serves as a metaphor in Pasolini’s work for (among other things) the decline in Italy during the 1970s of resistance to a resurgent fascism’s violent clarity. In this lecture, I will read a set of Roland Barthes’s unpublished seminar notes on Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perduin the light of Georges Didi-Huberman’s analysis. In so doing, I will try to show that while the gentle intermittence of the fireflies’ flickers may be given little or no attention in Barthes’s work on photography, for example, it is undeniably the focus of some of his elaborations on Proust’s novel.

For more information about Baldwin see here