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Jerusalem 2009

Melville and/or Conrad: Literary-Historical Perspectives

Issues that the Participants may wish to address might include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • What were the assumptions of Melville’s and Conrad’s respective philosophies of literature and how did they evolve? How could their "private” literary theories be reconstructed?
  • What is the position and function of the writings by Melville and by Conrad in national literatures? in the  Western canon?
  • In what way can ethnic perspectives be applied to the reading of Conrad’s work? To Conrad himself?
  • In what way may Melville and Conrad be perceived in the context of the evolution of the Western literary culture from Romanticism to Modernity and to Postmodernity?
  • What are Melville’s and Conrad’s positions in the tradition of the literature of the sea?
  • How can Melville and/or Conrad be read in the context of biography/autobiography/journals/letters?
  • In what way may Melville and Conrad be approached as writers of metatextual literature? Self-Conscious literature?
  • How do Melville’s works influence the perception of Conrad’s writing?
  • In what way does the late recognition of Melville render him Conrad’s contemporary?
  • How do Melville and Conrad function in the context of high school and university classes?