FROM THE EDITOR...
For one year now the new team has worked together to meet the challenge of breathing new life into AIZEN, the AIZEN Bulletin, and Excavatio. Our efforts have produced results. First of all, as you have probably noticed, the AIZEN Bulletin has a new format following last year's issue, and we have received favorable reactions from colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic. For the first time, we are presenting a portfolio of last year's conference in San Francisco. Since we are a new team, we feel that this feedback has enabled us to improve our performance. What especially encouraged us was that many participants recognized our efforts to follow up on Monique Fol's mandate and continue her legacy for the AIZEN, to keep the flame of her inspiration burning for this society devoted to the study of Zola and Naturalism.
From your comments we have learned that you appreciated many aspects of the San Francisco AIZEN Conference. Presented in a very pleasant and collegial atmosphere, the papers exhibited an extraordinary variety and stimulated lively discussions. Our objectives have been achieved, thanks to the high caliber of your contributions and the conviviality of your interventions. Our thanks go to Jacqueline W. Green, Chair, and Tom Blair, both of the Foreign Language Department at City College of San Francisco, who made all the arrangements. The organizational team's continuous efforts to give attention to details have also played a role in the smooth functioning of the event. As members and organizers of the AIZEN, we should all congratulate ourselves on the results of the very successful San Francisco conference, whose high point was the attendance of Brigitte Emile-Zola, great-granddaughter of the writer, as honored guest.
We were delighted to have Jeanne Campbell Reesman, our special guest, present a paper of exceptional quality on Jack London's attitudes towards racial issues. The centenary of Fécondité was featured at the conference by a number of captivating presentations, including one by Carmen Mayer-Robin, who accepted the AIZEN Award for the Best Graduate Student Paper from Anna Gural-Migdal, in the presence of her dissertation director Evlyn Gould from the University of Oregon. Carmen Mayer-Robin's paper has been recast in the form of a longer article and will appear in Volume XIII of Excavatio. We thank Elizabeth Emery of Montclair State University for organizing a panel on food in French naturalist fiction: Indigestible Texts: The Trouble with Naturalism. Thanks go also to Robert McFarland, of the University of California at Berkeley, for organizing a panel on German Naturalism, the first of its kind at an AIZEN conference.
The magnificently exotic setting of the San Francisco gathering added that extra pizzazz that will make the experience unforgettable. In the moonlit private garden of the Argent Hotel Restaurant, where the AIZEN Cocktail, Reception, and Banquet took place, we listened to Brigitte Emile-Zola, who read and juxtaposed unpublished letters written by her great-grandfather to Jeanne Rozerot and Alexandrine Zola. We thank Christian Clanet, maître d'hôtel at the Argent, for encouraging us to taste of the best vintage wines of the nearby Napa Valley and for his suggestion, taking his inspiration from L'Assommoir, of "Blanquette de veau" for the banquet menu.
The University of Alberta will host the 9th AIZEN International Conference and the 6th Naturalist Film Festival from September 20 to 22, 2000. Our thanks go to Ken Norrie, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, and Don Bruce, Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies. Also, we would like to thank Jerry Varsava, Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature, Religion, and Film/Media Studies, and Jo-Anne Wallace, Chair of the English Department, University of Alberta, for their support.
Our honored guest, Brigitte Emile-Zola, will share some of Zola's unpublished letters from her private collection in a presentation entitled "Zola et ses enfants." Our special guests at this conference are among the most renowned Zola specialists: Alain Pagès, Editor-in-Chief of Les Cahiers naturalistes, who will examine how Zola's work was received in the not widely known period of the 1930s and will discuss the renewed interest in the author which occured at that time; and Colette Becker, from the Université de Paris X- Nanterre, author of numerous works on Zola and Naturalism, who will discuss Zolian aesthetics from the standpoint of his own pre-writing notes.
I am extremely happy to welcome for the first time to an AIZEN conference delegations from Poland, Austria, and Italy. I would like to thank my colleagues, Raleigh Whitinger, Massimo Verdicchio, and Waclaw Osadnik, from the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, and Edward Mozejko, from the Department of Comparative Literature, Religion, and Film/Media Studies, for their willingness to be part of the Organizational Committee and their assistance in establishing contact with researchers in these countries. I wish to express my gratitude to the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Vancouver, the Polish Cultural Society in Edmonton, and the Canadian Polish Congress. I extend my special thanks to the Consul General, Krzysztof S. Smyk. Grzegorz Swoboda, Consul in Vancouver, will be present at the conference in Edmonton to give a speech. Thanks also go to the Canadian Centre for Austrian and Central European Studies (CCAUCES), and especially to its director, Franz Szabo. And we thank the Italian Institute of Culture, Vancouver, Public Relations, University of Calgary, and the city of Edmonton. The Research Grants Office at the University of Alberta and, above all, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada deserve a special thank you, for making this conference possible.
The Edmonton conference promises to afford an highly international view of Zola and Naturalism. The year 2000 will be honored at this conference by a special panel on The Millenary Imaginary in Zola's Writing. A particular emphasis will be placed on the Canadian content. Eric Cahm will present an analysis of the Canadian reaction to Zola's intervention in the Dreyfus Affair. And a special session will be devoted to French and English Canadian Naturalist writers and film makers. A panel on Naturalism as Anti-Model in Turn-of-the-Century Europe has been organized this year by Elizabeth Emery, from Montclair State University, and Juan Spicer-Escalante, from Oakland University, has organized a panel on voyeurism in Naturalism. Another important component of this conference will be contributions to the study of Zola's non-novelistic production. From the University of Amsterdam, we have invited Marjolein van Tooren, a specialist in the lesser-known works by Zola, shorter works of fiction, and journalistic writings. Furthermore, a session will be devoted to the theater of Emile Zola, and a Canadian specialist in this area from Acadia University, Janice Best, will present a challenging paper.
At this first AIZEN Conference to be held in Canada, the Film Festival will be devoted entirely to Canadian films: Canada's Sweetheart (Donald Brittain, 1985), a fascinating, factual Jimmy Hoffa-type film about corruption in Canadian trade unions, by one of the best documentary film makers in Canada; Un Zoo, la nuit (Jean-Claude Lauzon, 1987) a brutal, dark, hard-boiled Canadian crime thriller, violent and sexual, by one of the most promising French-Canadian directors, tragically killed three years ago in an accident; and, by the same film maker, Léolo (Jean-Claude Lauzon, 1993), a naturalist masterpiece, a coming-of-age tale about a Canadian boy growing up in a severely dysfunctional family; and Savage Woman (Léa Pool, 1991), by a Swiss-born Canadian now working in Quebec, an intelligent, yet melancholy feminist film text about a woman living in the Swiss wilderness as a statement against the constraints of civilization.
For the Edmonton AIZEN Conference, accommodations have been arranged at the Campus Tower Suite Hotel, located in the immediate vicinity of the University of Alberta, 11145-87th Avenue. Suites are available with one bedroom, kitchenette, living room, and bath. A sofa-bed in the living area would make these accommodations suitable for sharing with another conference participant. The price is the same for single or double occupancy, $79.00 Cdn, plus tax.
The sessions will be held in two magnificent rooms in Lister Hall, the Map Room and the Alberta Room, both equipped with VCRs, slide projectors, and screens. On the same floor, The Marina serves coffee and other beverages, snacks, and breakfast foods, and is open from 7:00 a.m. to midnight. Lister Market, a residence hall cafeteria on the second floor, is open from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and again from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and serves hot meals for $6.00 to $10.00 Cdn. There are a number of other places on campus where participants can eat lunch as well and many restaurants in the area where they can dine. On the first day of the conference, September 20, participants are invited to eat lunch in the Faculty Club. The cost will be $20 per person. The AIZEN Cocktail will take place the first evening of the conference (September 20) in the Student Lounge on the main floor of the Arts Building at 6.00 p.m. During the cocktail we will listen to a special presentation by Robert Walenciak, a well-known Polish journalist connected to the magazine Przeglad. In recognition of the 75th anniversary of the death of the Polish writer Wladyslaw S. Reymont (Nobel prize in literature, 1924), our distinguished visitor will give a talk entitled "L'influence de Zola sur les romans les plus connus de Reymont: La Terre promise et Les Paysans." The first screening of films for the Film Festival, will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the basement of the same building. All are invited to the Naturalist Supper Italian style on the evening of September 21 at Varscona Hotel (8208, 106 Street, a 15-minute walk from Campus Tower Hotel). The cost to participants, wine, tip, and tax included, will be $45.00 Cdn. The cocktail preceding the supper will feature our honored guest, Brigitte Emile-Zola, who will give a presentation entitled "Zola et ses enfants". We are very grateful for her presence at the conference. Finally, on Saturday we will go on an all-day excursion to Jasper in the Rocky Mountains. The bus will leave in the morning and return by ten o'clock of the same day. The trip of four hours each way will feature extraordinary scenery and Jasper itself is one of the most popular tourist spots in Canada.
Volume XIII of Excavatio is now available. We have a new format that conforms to that of the MLA. It contains an "Editorial Note" written by Anna Gural-Migdal in French, to give readers who don't read English a general overview of the contents of the volume and to indicate the major themes and points of contact among them. You will notice that this volume is augmented, with thirty-four articles in all and two special presentations given during the AIZEN Conference in San Francisco by Brigitte Emile-Zola and Lorraine Beitler, who shared unique material, never made public before. Lorraine Beitler presented a poster from the Beitler Family Foundation, of which she is the director and the president. This poster was printed in Chicago to announce a play based on the Dreyfus Affair, Devil's Island by Vera De Noie and Arthur Hall, which opened in New York in 1897. And Eric Cahm based his paper on unpublished letters addressed to Zola in 1898 from the United States in reaction to his involvement in the Dreyfus Affair. Eric Cahm was able to gain access to these letters thanks to Brigitte Emile-Zola who welcomed him to her private estate at Brienne-le-Château. In addition to this unpublished material, Volume XIII of Excavatio contains sections on women in Naturalist fiction, on the reception of Zola's work, and on urban discourse and representation. As usual, a series of articles is devoted to the visual: painting, cinema, and theater. Some articles in this volume call into question Naturalism as a cultural and philosophical concept. For the first time we are presenting articles on German Naturalism, yet an attempt has been made to accentuate the significant structures that appear in Naturalist texts without placing undue emphasis on spatial and temporal constraints.
We have good news to report about members of the AIZEN. Congratulations go to Susan M. Barrow, who finished her doctorate. She defended her dissertation at the beginning of the year on Contributions of Japonism to the French Naturalist Novel. Tony Williams, one of the best-known film specialists in the United States, was promoted to the rank of full professor and will attend the AIZEN Conference in Edmonton. Warmest congratulations are in order for Carolyn Snipes-Hoyt who was recently hired as an Assistant Professor at Middle Georgia College, USA. We wish her good luck in her future endeavors. Encarnación Medina Arjona's presentation of the letters Emile Zola received from Spain during the year of his intervention in the Dreyfus Case, 1898-1899, was published in 1999. For readers of Spanish, this book, entitled Zola y el caso Dreyfus, is a very interesting work that you will want to add to your collection. The Dreyfus Affair created a stir in Spain when Zola, already a well-known literary figure, became a defender of human freedoms. Thanks to these letters, we are able to glimpse Spanish society and the major concerns of fin de siècle Spanish intellectuals. In February of 2000, Jeanne Campbell Reesman edited, together with Dale L. Walker, a collection of Jack London's texts on the craft of writing, with the title 'No Mentor but Myself': Jack London on Writing and Writers (2nd edition). This collection of essays, reviews, letters, and autobiographical writings provides a vivid portrait, not only of Jack London musing on his solitary vocation, but of the literary industry in turn-of-the-century America. Jeanne Campbell Reesman has also worked with Noel Mauberret of Nevers, France, and the publisher of Editions Phebus, to bring out new translations of Jack London's works in French. They are available in the "Libretto" series and will continue to appear over the next few years. Congratulations to Monica Lebrón as well, on her appointment as Editor of the Bulletin of the Emile Zola Society. We wish her all the best as she takes up her duties. Félicitations to Alain Pagès on the construction of the new web site for the Cahiers naturalistes: www.cahiers_naturalistes.com
The AIZEN will celebrate its tenth anniversary American-style at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, October 4-6, 2001. The event will be sponsored by the Institut Français de Philadelphie. I would like to extend a thank you to Professor Lucienne Frappier-Mazur of the Romance Languages Department at the University of Pennsylvania, who is making all the arrangements in collaboration with Françoise Gramet, Assistant Director of the Institut Français. We are happy to present, with the collaboration of Lorraine Beitler, for the first time at an International AIZEN Conference, collectors' items related to the Dreyfus Affair in the United States. These holdings of the Beitler Family Foundation will be displayed in an exhibit entitled "Voices of Honor" that has traveled the world with the purpose of encouraging awareness of individual and community responsibility. The collections serve as forums for scholars and as a basis for the discussion of human rights among inter-generational audiences. In connection with this event, we have invited as honored guest, Eric Cahm, specialist of the Dreyfus Affair and founder of the Société Internationale d'Histoire de l'Affaire Dreyfus. The AIZEN Conference in 2002, the centenary of Emile Zola's death, will take place at the University of Jaén, Departamento de Lenguas y Culturas Mediterráneas, not far from Granada, Spain, June 13 -15. We thank Encarnación Medina Arjona, the co-organizer of the conference, who is making all the local arrangements. In the magnificent setting of Andalusia, we will meet up with numerous international colleagues, from Spain, the Canary Islands, France, Holland, Germany, Morocco, Tunisia, among other countries.
The AIZEN web site has been improved, up-dated, and totally edited by Carolyn Snipes-Hoyt and Philip Hoyt. We thank them for their excellent work on the maintenance of this web site, which can be consulted at the following address: www.ualberta.ca/~aizen/
Thank you, Philip Hoyt, graphic artist for the AIZEN conference and the AIZEN Bulletin, and Nancy Weston, who is responsible for the graphic design and production of Excavatio, for your excellent work.
Thank you again, members, for your dynamism, generosity, talent, and collegiality. You have contributed to the success of the AIZEN. If you have friends or colleagues who are interested in our activities, please encourage them to become members as well and bring their talents to our vibrant association.
We look forward to welcoming you to Edmonton. Have a great summer !
Anna Gural-Migdal, August 15, 2000
Portfolio 8th AIZEN International Conference, City College of San Francisco, 7-9 October, 1999
Dear Professor Gural-Migdal:
Dear Anna, dear Carolyn,
Dear Anna, Robert and Carolyn,
Dear Professor Gural-Migdal,
Thank you very much, and thanks to Anna Gural. I had a magnificent
time. It was wonderful to meet Madame Brigitte Emile-Zola.
Dear Professor Gural-Migdal,
Dear Professor Gural-Migdal:
Dear Professor Gural-Migdal,
Dear Professor Gural-Migdal,
I was impressed with a number of the papers and hope that I can go
to Edmonton next year to follow up on acquaintances' progress. Edmonton
will, of course, be less costly as I can stay with relatives, and, if my
Canadian Airlines points survive the merger, I can fly for free. Now
what to write?
I very much enjoyed meeting you and participating in the AIZEN
conference. It was a great pleasure to be there.
Dear Professor Gural-Migdal,
The conference gave me the first opportunity ever to present some
of my work. I am one of those 'non-traditional' students, having begun
my studies for the Ph.D. at the age of 47. I just defended my
dissertation and am now preparing to move with my wife to Queretaro,
Mexico where I will be employed by the Autonomous University of that
city as a professor of Spanish and will teach translation theory,
literature, composition, and practical translation.