Pierre Taminiaux, Georgetown University

Ludics as Transgression: From Surrealism to the Absurd to Pataphysics


In my talk, I will present my own work as a playwright, which stands at the intersection between surrealism, the absurd and pataphysics. I will establish esthetic and philosophical distinctions between these three literary schools and movements. But I will also stress the fact that they are never mutually exclusive: instead, they complement each other in the creation of an original language that exceeds the boundaries of realism and rationalism.

I will then study the issue of ludics by showing that it holds a definite power of trangression. This transgression is both of a linguistic and of a political nature. In my perspective, ludics necessarily includes a form of critical thinking that engages the theatrical text within the community and radically questions the values and the norms of both the social order and mainstream culture.


PIERRE TAMINIAUX is a Professor of 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Literature at Georgetown University. He is the author of several scholarly books, including Robert Pinget, The Paradox of Photography, Littératures Modernistes et Arts d’Avant-Garde, Du Surréalisme à la Photographie Contemporaine: au Croisement des Arts et de la Littérature and L’Ellipse et le Cercle: Art, Poésie, Politique. He is also the author of seven plays, a novel and two poetry volumes.