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Tom Bishop, Donatien Grau: Literature Is a Voyage of Discovery

Tom Bishop, Donatien Grau

Literature Is a Voyage of Discovery
Tom Bishop in Conversation with Donatien Grau

Translated by Peter Behrman de Sinéty

Softcover, 104 pages

Date of publication: 22.09.2021

Tom Bishop has, for over sixty years, contributed to shaping the literary, philosophical, cultural, artistic, but also political conversation between Paris and New York. In his position as professor and director of the Center for French Civilization and Culture at New York University, he made the Washington Square institution one of the great bridges between the novelty he considered France brought at the time and a New York scene that was then in full transformation. Tom Bishop was close to Beckett, championed Robbe-Grillet in the United States, befriended Marguerite Duras and Hélène Cixous, organized historic public encounters—such as the one between James Baldwin and Toni Morrison. He is also a scholar, a recognized specialist in the avant-garde, notably the Nouveau Roman and the Nouveau Théâtre. In 2012, he invited Donatien Grau to give a talk at NYU. From this invitation, conversations, a friendship have developed—some of which are assembled in this book. Tom Bishop retraces his career, his own history: his departure from Vienna, his studies, his meetings, his choices, his conception of literature and life, his relationship to the political and economic world; the way he helped define the profession of "curator" as it is practiced today. In these interviews, he comes off as simultaneously a scholar, an organizer a major player in the intellectual life: an individual, with his statements, his anger, his refusals, his loyalty, his insatiable appetite for discovery and novelty, his deep attachment to the university, a place of freedom and creation.

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Tom Bishop

born 1929 in Vienna, Austria, lives and works in New York. He has been a leading scholar and impresario between Paris and New York for the last sixty years, and has contributed to define the American-French cultural dialogue. He was the Florence Gould Professor of French Culture and Civilization at New York University, where he served as Director of the Center of French Civilization and Culture.

Donatien Grau

is a scholar and author. He currently serves as head of contemporary programs at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and as chair of the Association Pierre Guyotat.
Other texts by Donatien Grau for DIAPHANES
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