Call for Articles for a special issue of the Journal of Short Stories in English devoted to D. H. Lawrence
Guest editors: Christine Zaratsian (Aix-Marseille Université) and Shirley Bricout (Montpellier III)
Transgressing Borders and Borderlines
This special issue aims at bringing into focus the patterns of transgression which map out borders and borderlines as well as in-between territories in D. H. Lawrence’s shorter fiction. The characters he stages within the boundaries of the stories evolve along patterns of harmony and discord which lead them to transgress limits as they “seek that invisible and promised territory, that country that does not exist but that [they bear in their] dreams, and that must indeed be called a beyond” (Julia Kristéva, Strangers to Ourselves).
Lawrence himself crossed geographical borders when he left his native country, breaking free from political, social and religious conventions. He also tested and transgressed literary norms by blurring the limits of shorter fiction which developed into novellas, long short stories or short novels, a range Pierre Tibi expounds on in his Aspects de la nouvelle. In April 1924, on the day he sent “The Border Line” to his agent Curtis Brown, Lawrence encapsulated his approach to writing shorter fiction in a letter to his American editor Thomas Seltzer: “I am busy doing a few short stories – I wish they’d stay shorter. But they are the result of Europe, and perhaps a bit dismal.” In his lifetime, Lawrence published five volumes of short stories and three others were published posthumously. His career as a short story writer opened with “The Prelude” which was published under Jessie Chambers’s name. Providing an interesting cue, the title of this very first piece already points to the in-between territory where the artist crosses the border between nothingness and creation. On the other hand, in an iconoclastic twist, his last short story called “The Man Who Died” inverts the crossing of the border from life to death as the main character rises from the dead to join the living.
The contributors may explore how the characters’ liminal position acquired in a time of crisis empowers them to experience renewal or how it brings about their doom. The textual dynamics fostered by the transgression of borders and borderlines can be examined as they endow the open endings of most of Lawrence’s stories with a mythopoetic dimension and enable “the text [to] overrun the limits assigned to it” (Jacques Derrida, “Living On” in Deconstruction and Criticism). Therefore, just as the characters reach out from their insularity to explore a geographic or symbolic beyond, the short story may no longer be self contained but pertain to a larger aesthetic pattern.
We invite contributions around the following themes
– Distinct/ indistinct, fluctuating boundaries
– The beyond and the unknown
– Escape and exile
– The journey as a means to cross boundaries
– Encounters and exchanges / alterity
– Life and death / the body and transgression
– Iconoclasm / transgression of the sacred
– The boundaries of the text / intertextuality
– Recurring patterns of transgression
This list is, of course, not exhaustive.
Contributors are invited to use, when available, the Cambridge Editions of D. H. Lawrence’s short stories.
Abstracts in English (300 words) with bibliographical references and a short biography are to be sent by 31 May 2014 to both
Shirley Bricout firstname.lastname@example.org and
Christine Zaratsian email@example.com
Only original articles will be considered.
Notification of acceptance by end of September 2014.
Articles are to be sent in by 15 September 2015 with an abstract in English and in French, and a bibliography. Suitable submissions will follow the guidelines posted on the JSSE website http://jsse.revues.org/234