The Power of the Word / La puissance du verbe

The Cambridge Colloquia


Editor: T.J. Cribb
This book is the record of a colloquium held at Churchill College, Cambridge. It pursues lines of discussion radiating out from the core theme of the power of the image (understood in its pictorial, iconic, sensory and verbal senses). Writers, scholars and artists are grouped in pairs representing the two language-cultures (English and French). Central topics covered include the manifold ways in which our readings of pictorial images old and contemporary can bridge cultures, language politics and the politics of culture, the limitless and instructive senses of the concept of the ‘word’, the relation between orality and the written text, the implications of the act of writing, history and opera, the word in theatre, the influence of the Nobel Prize…. The terms of discussion universally urbane, effortlessly wide-ranging and deeply probing. Most importantly – and a reminder of how best to ensure literate wisdom in intercultural debate – is the fact that the contributors gathered here have avoided all ‘pre-packaging’ of their reflections in the shibboleth ‘discourses' (whether Freudian, poststructuralist, postmodern or postcolonial) of our time.
Contributors are: Anthony Kwame Appiah, Biyi Bandele, Jacques Chevrier, Tim Cribb, Irène d’Almeida, Casimir d’Angelo, Assia Djebar, Akin Euba, Christiane Fioupou, Lorna Goodison, Wilson Harris, Marika Hedin, Gerard Houghton, Abiola Irele, Anny King, John Kinsella, Henri Lopés, Daniel Maximin, Femi Osofisan, Niyi Osundare, Ato Quayson, Alain Ricard, Tracy Ryan, Julien Sinzogan, Alioune Sow, Wole Soyinka, George Steiner, Véronique Tadjo, Maria Tippett, Olabiyi Yaï

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TIM CRIBB is Director of Studies in English and Tutor for Advanced Students, Churchill College. His main interests are in Shakespeare, Dickens, West African and Caribbean literature and drama. He is the editor of Imagined Commonwealths (1999).
Acknowledgements Illustrations Prologue Introduction First Dialogue: Niyi OSUNDARE and Henri LOPÉS: The Power of the Word between Word and Word (chair: Alioune Sow) Second Dialogue: Femi OSOFISAN and Christiane FIOUPOU: The Power of the Word in the Arena of Theatre (chair: Alain Ricard) Third Dialogue: Wilson HARRIS and Daniel MAXIMIN: The Power of the Word in Space and Place (chair: Jacques Chevrier) Fourth Dialogue: Gerard HOUGHTON and Julien SINZOGAN: The Power of the Image (chair: Maria Tippett) Fifth Dialogue: Akin EUBA and Company: The Word in Music: Chaka Sixth Dialogue: Marika HEDIN and Anthony KWAME APPIAH , with George STEINER: The Power of the Prize (chair: Ato Quayson) Seventh Dialogue: Lorna GOODISON and Véronique TADJO: The Power of the Poem (chair: Irène d’Almeida) Eighth Dialogue: Wole SOYINKA and Assia DJEBAR: Powers that Be and Words that Will (chair: Abiola Irele) Ninth Dialogue: Biyi BANDELE and Olabiyi YAÏ: The Word in Disguise (chair: Tim Cribb) John KINSELLA and Tracy RYAN: Epilogue after Baudelaire, “La Chevelure” Notes on Contributors