Past Event

Molière's Don Juan with Roger Chartier

February 7, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
535 Butler Library

Roger Chartier (Professeur in the Collège de France and Annenberg Visiting Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania) will discuss "Molière's Don Juan: Textual Mobilities, Textual Genealogy, and Material Text, a Case Study."

In this talk Professor Chartier considers the different phases or modalities of textual mobility through a study of Molière’s play Le Festin de pierre (known as Don Juan), and specifically by focusing on the last lines of the play spoken by Sganarelle: “my wages, my wages, my wages.” Chartier begins with an examination of authorship, including the attribution of Molière’s name to several editions of a play he never wrote, Dorimon’s Festin de pierre. Next he considers the text of the first two editions of Le Festin de pierre: the 1683 Parisian edition, which was heavily censored by editors and the police, and the 1683 Amsterdam edition, which presented a version of the play closer to how Molière’s company performed it in 1665. Next he extends his examination to the different forms of publication of the play, either in a separate editions or within the publication of Molière’s complete works (for example, in the Paris edition in 1682 or in Amsterdam in 1693). Fourth, he explores the rewriting of the work: for example, Molière’s Festin de pierre in prose rewritten in verse by Thomas Corneille’s Don Juan and also the migration of the “same” plot from one language to another, including Don Juan’s story from El Burlador Sevilla to Il Conivato di pietra and to the French plays by Dorimon, Villiers, Molière, Rosimon, or Thomas Corneille. Finally, he will raise the question of the interpretations given to the work by its spectators or readers. Part of the Book History Colloquium at Columbia. Co-sponsored by the Columbia Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia Dept. of English & Comparative Literature and Columbia Dept. of Latin American and Iberian Cultures.