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Talk: Molière’s Legacy: Masks and Mirrors in Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s Plays

Thursday 13 December 16:30-17:45


As part of a two-day conference on representations of the human face in Japanese and Western European literature and theatre from the Early Modern period to the present, Professor Nobuko Akiyama delivers this keynote address, which will focus on the play Un Homme trop facile by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, based on Molière’s Le Misanthrope.

About the Speaker:

Nobuko Akiyama is a Professor of French Literature at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo. She is an internationally recognised specialist in 17th-century French theatre and has translated the complete works of Molière in Japanese (Rinsen Shoten publisher, 2001-2003; Prize for literary translation, Konishi Foundation, 2003).

About the Conference:

The aim of this two-day conference is to compare representations of the human face in Japanese and Western European literature and theatre from the Early Modern period to the present. In the literary traditions of Japan and Europe, the face is the source of one of the biggest paradoxes: on the one hand, it is universally presumed to have a meaning –– and to be readable ––, while on the other, the evidence of such readability has always been disputed. This conflicting nature of the face, vital to human communication, has been explored ardently by writers and playwrights from Europe and Japan, probing the effectiveness of physiognomic approaches and questioning the conventions of portraiture in a variety of genres, forms and styles. What have been the similarities and differences in the treatment of the face in these two cultural areas? Which main characteristics and mutual influences can be identified? The conference will endeavour to explain the role of the human face in ‘modernity’ in its broadest sense, with presentation and discussion from specialists on Japanese and Western European art and cultures.

Event details:

Molière’s Legacy: Masks and Mirrors in Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s Plays

Keynote Address for the conference
Behind the Masks: Representations of the Face in Japanese and Western European Literature and Theatre from the Early Modern Period to the Present

Thursday, 13 December 2018, 4.30 - 6pm
Talk in FRENCH | FREE
An English translation will be available for non-francophone audiences

Institut français d’Ecosse
Médiathèque Sir Patrick Geddes (First floor)
West Parliament Square
Edinburgh EH1 1RF

Access Details
The Institut français d’Ecosse and the Médiathèque Sir Patrick Geddes are fully accessible with step-free access available at West Parliament Square and George IV Bridge.

Advanced booking recommended ONLINE via our extranet, via Eventbrite, at 0131 285 60 30, or at info ifecosse.org.uk

This keynote address is delivered as a collaboration between the Institut français d’Ecosse, the University of Edinburgh, and the DAIWA Anglo-Japanese Foundation.

Image: Acteurs masqués du Théâtre de l’Eventail (d’Orléans), jouant La Jalousie du Barbouillé et Le Médecin volant de Molière
Credit: La Dépêche du Midi, 2009

Institut Français Écosse 2018