In The Age of Epimodernism. The “istorical novel”

Lecture by Emmanuel Bouju, Professor of Comparative Literature (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle).


Since the present has no sequel, and no established future, it’s always difficult to give it a name. The “post” solution has long prevailed, obscuring the fact that “post-ness” can itself have an “afterwards”. But is the present still postmodern? I am going to propose in this talk that we get over post-ness in the company of another prefix: epi a prefix of remarkable richness and complexity. Epimodernism would thus set up six different relations to the heritage of modernism, by reworking its postmodern critique and rebooting, with all due post-irony, its ambition of new forms of engagement. I’ll be taking the example of what I have called “the istorical novel”, without an h.


Emmanuel Bouju is currently Professor of Comparative Literature at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, director of the CERC and honorary Senior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France. He’s been Visiting Prof. at IU in Bloomington and Harvard U. Prof. Bouju’s publications include Réinventer la littérature : démocratisation et modèles romanesques dans l’Espagne post-franquiste (with a préface by Jorge Semprún, 2002), La transcription de l’histoire. Essai sur le roman européen de la fin du vingtième siècle (2006), Fragments d’un discours théorique (2016 and 2023), and Épimodernes. Nouvelles « leçons américaines » sur l’actualité du roman (2020)––to be published very soon in English at Palgrave-MacMillan.