Research Seminar

10 Sep 2018

Claude Pélieu: On All Frequencies / James Horton / ORB 1.24 / Thursday September 13th, 17-18h / in collaboration with UCC Library

A seminar to mark the closure of the Claude Pélieu:
On All Frequencies
exhibition in the Boole Library
Followed by a vin d’honneur in the Boole Library exhibition area at 18h. All welcome.
Claude Pélieu: On All Frequencies
In this talk I will discuss my experiences researching the life and work of Claude Pélieu (1934-2002). A French poet, artist, translator and publisher close to the Beat Generation and various American countercultural movements of the 1960s and 1970s, Pélieu was the subject of this summer’s exhibition at the UCC Boole Library.
The subtitle of the exhibition and the title of this seminar, ‘On All Frequencies’, is drawn from a 1966 letter from Pélieu to William Burroughs; here, it references the prodigious, multidisciplinary and sometimes overwhelming nature of Pélieu’s artistic and poetic output, as well as his fascination for broadcast and communication, both metaphorical and literal.
With this in mind and by way of introduction, I will present the research and archival work that went into gathering the material featured in this exhibition, which was drawn from various public and private collections in Europe and the United States. I will also discuss the curatorial process and some of the difficulties and opportunities afforded by Pélieu’s body of work.
I will then introduce some of the questions and methodological challenges I have encountered in my broader academic research into this enigmatic figure, who defined himself as “un cut-up vivant” – a living cut-up. While Pélieu’s transatlantic trajectory and his idiosyncratic blending of surrealist-inflected poetics and countercultural practices make him a particularly interesting figure to consider in the context of French studies, his multifaceted conception of writing, poetry and art also invites approaches from the fields of art history, translation studies, and periodical studies.

Department of French

Room 1.22 Block A, First Floor, O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork