Scholars + Storytelling: Beyond Plot with David Bell

Scholars + Storytelling: Beyond Plot with David Bell

“No literary text is understandable unless the critic constructs a story about it.” Our Spring 2018 Scholars + Storytelling series continued with David Bell, Duke Professor of Romance Studies and author of books like "Real Time: Accelerating Narrative from Balzac to Zola" (2004). His research interests include nineteenth-century French literature, science studies, philosophy and literature, and the intersections between neuroscience and cognitive studies. In this talk Prof. Bell demonstrated how to unearth three other stories your literary texts are telling you, aside from their plots. Starting with an example text, Bell tracked back to the story of the author’s life as an artist, the historical context of the author’s work, and the story that other critics have collectively told about the text across time. Finally, he discussed how students studying a literary text can tell its story in compelling and illuminating ways.