écouter: Gisèle Sapiro, Authorship and Responsibility: Literary Trials and the Ethics of Writing, France, 19th to 21st Centuries
Maison Française d'Oxford, 12 Oct 2011
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.