Surprise the event, watch the impossible (Revue Elsinore, n° 40)

Call for documents

Surprise the event, follow the impossible (Revue ElsinoreNo. 40)

A collective and interdisciplinary volume edited by Pamela Krause (Sorbonne University),

published by the magazine Elsinore (Caen University Press) and published in Open Publishing.

This volume intends to question the relevance and stakes (ethical, political, philosophical, literary) associated with the concept of event. A key concept in phenomenology, disaster studies, political philosophy, and trauma studies is that the shock of the random and unexpected collides with our being in the world. Opposing the totality of possibilities expressed for us in the world, appearing without cause and reason, confuses our languages, concepts, bodies and psyches: “A disaster, an earthquake, a tsunami, an explosion occurs. not only tearing apart the air, the land, the sea, and all the dimensions of the atmosphere, but “above all it opens a great rift within us.” what happens to us— collective work dedicated to writing the incomprehensible. The “crack” caused by the event (a word that can only evoke the “wound” left by trauma) disrupts the network of meanings expressed for us in the world. An event irreducible to actuality (historical, historical) does not happen on its own; as the changer and giver of the world, it has the power to achieve the fundamentally possible, to herald the impossible, that is, the coming of a new world. After the event, “the world, with its interconnected possibilities and impossibilities, will never be the same again,” writes Claude Romano. Events and the world.

A world-shattering event that surprises us condemns us to never catch up. We lack the words and concepts to describe the innumerable richness of its effects, to detect the signs of its appearance a posteriori. Unexpected, impossible to reproduce, resistant to any network of interpretations that may have preceded it, the event ultimately imposes a new and inexhaustible hermeneutic. It is no coincidence that modern phenomenology insists on its difficult conceptual understanding: the unexpected, irreducible to any causal or factual explanation, the world-shattering, event that actually transforms through experience and rewrites it for us.
Therefore, it is about questioning the growing inadequacy between our words and the event, grasping it when it is most meaningful and most difficult. We read about this difficulty in the diary of Cherif Magdalani at work (Beirut 2020. Collapse agenda), in Michael Ferrier’s novel (A tale of disaster), in Atomic Bomb Poems by Sankichi Toge; he follows Mourning diary by Roland Barthes; Alain Badiou, Claude Romano, Jean-Luc Marion, Martin Heidegger…

The focus on describing and conceptualizing the event also calls into question the necessary transformation of conceptual and literary practices—calling on the unspoken to say so, to think the impossible without betraying it.
It will also be about exploring the clinical and therapeutic dimensions of writing, and thinking about ways to correct the flaws created by the event. In a context where an event (such as a civil war) is doomed to be forgotten (oblivion imposed by corrupt politicians, as in post-war Lebanon), can writing do the work of resistance, preserve collective memory? Does writing allow the person speaking it to heal during a particularly traumatic event?

Reflection lines:

1-Definition(s) and philosophical implications of the event concept (the poverty of the transcendental subject, the need to rethink the phenomenality of the world, to oppose the fluctuations of concepts, language, pathic floods…).

2-Formal inventions (narratives, poetics…) and common (choice of a certain genre) to tell an event – whether fictional or real, collectively (pandemic, natural disaster, revolution, armed conflict, attack, etc.) or individual (sickness, mourning, love at first sight…).

3-Political or social issues related to the description/conceptualization of the event (can writing overcome gaps in collective memory, reconstruct communities, disrupt the status quo and the world of facts? What is the meaning of catastrophic discourses of an event, in this case a future nuclear or environmental apocalypse?)

4-Think about the cathartic/therapeutic efficacy of stories or event concepts (how can thinking or writing about an event allow us to experience it better?)

5-Questioning the ability of literature/philosophy to create eventsi.e. rto elevate any incident to incident status. Francis Pong marveled at a face-to-face encounter with an oyster; Jean-Luc Marion pleaded for the “banal saturation” of phenomena – allowing us to marvel at our being in the world.

Contributions may belong to all genres or literary/philosophical currents.

Please send articles (35,000 characters) to by September 15, 2023.

The article should be accompanied by a short bio-biographical notice and an abstract in French and English (maximum 500 characters each).

The journal’s editorial standards are available online at:

Key words : literature and philosophy, disaster studies, trauma studies, literature and politics, phenomenology, literature and history


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