Michel Chaouli, Something Speaks to Me: Where Criticism Begins — Reading and Conversation with Merve Emre

Monday, April 29, 2024 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
320 York Street, New Haven, CT - HQ 136

Something Speaks to Me is an account of criticism as an urgent response to what moves us. Criticism begins when we put down a book to tell someone about it. It is what we do when we face a work or event that bowls us over and makes us scramble for a response. As Michel Chaouli argues, criticism involves three moments: Something speaks to me. I must tell you about it. But I don’t know how. The heart of criticism, no matter its form, lies in these surges of thoughts and feelings. Criticism arises from the fundamental need to share what overwhelms us.

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About the author: Michel Chaouli is professor of German and comparative literature at Indiana University Bloomington, where he also directs the Center for Theoretical Inquiry in the Humanities. His recent publications include Thinking with Kant’s “Critique of Judgment” (2017, Harvard University Press) and the coedited volumes Poetic Critique: Encounters with Art and Literature (2021, de Gruyter) and Stichwörter für die kritische Praxis (Diaphanes, 2023).

About the interlocutor: Merve Emre is the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing and Criticism at Wesleyan University and the author of several books. She has been awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize, the Robert B. Silvers Prize for Literary Criticism, and the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing by the National Book Critics Circle. She is a contributing writer at The New Yorker