EGSA outside speaker Kevin Ohi

Kevin Ohi will present “‘The Make-Believe of a Beginning’: The Novel and Questions of Inception” on April 3 at 4pm in the Stern Lounge. Ohi is a professor of English at Boston College.


“Looking at a series of openings of novels by Sterne, Austen, Dickens, George Eliot, Flaubert, and Proust, the paper will ask whether the “beginning of the novel” might mark a crisis as definitional for the genre as that which, in poetics, Giorgio Agamben calls “the end of the poem.” Turning, perhaps, to the curiously self-grounding gestures of Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and to Henry James’s theorization of the novel through the complex, contradictory, often baffled search for particular novels’ “germs,” it will attempt to explore some of the consequences of what Eliot calls  “the make-believe of a beginning,” in which the novel as a genre confronts a fundamental structure of writing.”


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