Proust Latino: An Evening with Rubén Gallo
Join author and Princeton University professor Rubén Gallo as he discusses his book Proust Latino, just out in France with Buchet Chastel.
In Proust Latino, Gallo explores the presence of Latin America in Proust’s life and work. The novelist lived in an era shaped by French colonial expansion into the Americas: just before his birth, Napoleon III installed Maximilian as emperor of Mexico, and during the 1890s France was shaken by the Panama Affair, a financial scandal linked to the construction of the canal in which thousands of French citizens lost their life savings.
It was in the context of these tense Franco–Latin American relations that the novelist met the circle of friends discussed in Proust Latino: the composer Reynaldo Hahn, Proust’s Venezuelan lover; Gabriel de Yturri, an Argentinean dandy; José-Maria de Heredia, a Cuban poet and early literary model; Antonio de La Gandara, a Mexican society painter; and Ramon Fernandez, a brilliant Mexican critic turned Nazi sympathizer.
Gallo will discuss the correspondence—some of it never before published—between the novelist and this heterogeneous group and also presents insightful readings of In Search of Lost Time that posit Latin America as the novel’s political unconscious. Proust’s speculation with Mexican stocks informed his various fictional passages devoted to financial transactions, and the Panama Affair shaped his understanding of the conquest of America in a little-known early text.
In English. Free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary.
Rubén Gallo is the Walter S. Carpenter Jr. Professor in Language, Literature and Civilization of Spain at Princeton University. He is the author, most recently, of Conversación en Princeton (2017), with Mario Vargas Llosa. Gallo’s other books include Proust’s Latin Americans (2014); Freud’s Mexico: Into the Wilds of Psychoanalysis (2010); Mexican Modernity: the Avant-Garde and the Technological Revolution (2005); New Tendencies in Mexican Art (2004) and The Mexico City Reader (2004).
Gallo is a member of the board of the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna, where he also serves as research director.
He is currently at work on Cuba: A New Era, a book about the changes in Cuban culture after the diplomatic thaw with the United States.