Lecture in Modern Languages, delivered by Professor Richard Parish, on 22 May 2013 (venue: The British Academy), as part of the British Academy's 2013 Literature Week. This lecture looks at four interpretations of the Imitation of Christ in the French 17th century, and at certain of the difficulties with which they confront both writers and readers: first, Pierre Corneille’s translation of the devotional classic by Thomas a Kempis, and the illustrations he provided for it; second, the same writer’s martyr tragedy, Théodore, with respect to aspects of propriety and dramaturgy; third, the autobiography of Jean-Joseph Surin, the priest at the centre of the Loudun possessions, in his role as exorcist; and finally the words of Eucharistic institution, as a topic of polemical writing by Bossuet.
Following a major review in 2011, eight new lecture series were approved - including this one (which covers both languages and literatures). The lecture was first delivered in 2013.
In this lecture, Charles Burdett argues that our understanding of modern Italian culture needs to always take into account the traces left by the past. He will consider the course of Italian expansionism both immediately before and during the twenty years (1922-43) in which the Fascist regime was in power in Italy, and the legacy of this period.