Tomorrow I shall be going to Amiens, to deliver a paper on “‘Sapper’ : from realism to melodrama” to a conference organised by Les Amis du Roman Populaire.
This is an association devoted to all kinds of popular fiction – but especially to the French fiction of the last century, and this conference is considering the plenitude of fictions inspired by the Great War.
I am lecturing in English, and I understand that translations have been prepared of my paper, so I shouldntn’t be faced with incomprehension. I’m slightly nervous, though, about how much I will understand of academic papers delivered in French. I read French reasonably well (and am moderately proud of having read and enjoyed a wartime French thriller earlier this year) but my aural comprehension is less good. But we’ll see how it goes.
Amiens is the home of Les Amis du Roman Populaire mostly, I think, because Jules Verne lived there. His house is now the Jules Verne museum, which I hope to take a look at.
Anyway, i shall report back on the conference when I return after the weekend.
While I’m away I gather that Jessica Meyer will be talking about ‘Sapper’ in a BBC4 programme about popular fiction on Thursday.
I wonder if her take on ‘Sapper’ will be the same as mine. I’ve put the programme on to record, and will take a look when I get back.