- British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA) Autumn Graduate Reception
- Reading and Reception Seminars: Dr Sibylle Erle
- Medical (In)Humanities Workshops: Institutions, Languages & Social Practices
- Reading and Reception Seminars Spring Term Programme
- Taboos, Trends and Debates in Contemporary Scandinavian Children’s and Young Adult Literature
- Reading and Reception Seminars: Dr Ann Lewis
- Reading and Reception Seminars: Professor Patrick Pollard
- "You don't look old!": Public lecture by Lynne Segal
- Film screening and conversation with Professor Colin MacCabe
- Portraying Perpetrators screening: 'Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Suss'
- Portraying Perpetrators screening: '2 or 3 Things I Know about Him'
- Portraying Perpetrators screening: 'The Act of Killing'
- Portraying Perpetrators screening: 'I Was a Slave Labourer'
- Portraying Perpetrators screening: 'The Passenger'
- Visiting Lecture in Comparative Literature
- Reading and Reception Seminars: Dr Carolyn Burdett
- Film screening: The Life of Zygmunt Bauman
- Film screening: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 'Despair' (1977)
- From Phantasmagoria to Science!
- Pleasure, Pain & the Capacity to Relate
- Subtitles, Surtitles & Supertitles
- Auschwitz: Awkward Approaches
- London’s Burning: Our Habitat in Times of Crisis
- Books Before Towels: Germans on the Beach
- Reading and Reception Seminars: Professor Alice Jenkins
- Losing the Dead: Lecture by Lisa Appignanesi
- Medical (In)humanities: Secret Science
- Conference: Disturbing Pasts
- Humanity and Animality in 20th and 21st Century Culture: Narratives, Theories, Histories. An Interdisciplinary Conference
- Science and Literature Seminars: Francis Galton, Karl Pearson and the Biographical Laboratory
- 'My UCL Masters: what next?'
- Portraying Perpetrators screening: Dead Snow (2009)
Film screening: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 'Despair' (1977)
Publication date: Mar 18, 2014 04:42 PM
Start: Mar 25, 2014 05:30 PM
Location: JZ Young Lecture Theatre, G29 Anatomy Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT
Nabokov's novel 'Despair' first came out in book form in Russian in 1934, while he was living in Berlin. It was to be translated into English by the author himself in 1966, after which it has been recognised by many critics as one of his finest early fictions.
Playfully appropriating the Romantic motif of the doppelgänger in order to argue with Dostoyevsky, Freud and the detective tradition, the novel is at once a complex web of intertextual reference and an alarmingly funny tale of narcissism, deception and delusion that in many ways anticipates 'Lolita'.
When Rainer Fassbinder made an adaptation, he paid a complex homage to the source by continuing the text's process of reworking and rewriting. Armed with a marvellous script by Tom Stoppard and one of the finest performances by Dirk Bogarde (who had form in acting the part of doubles, through his role in 'A Tale of Two Cities' (1958), Fassbinder's film represents at once a postmodern and a critical slant upon Nabokov's 'Despair', which inserts the narrative unsettlingly into a historical context the text elides, the rise of Nazi Germany.
This film, which is rarely shown, is a must-see for anyone interested in Fassbinder, the Russian community in twentieth-century Germany, intertextuality, or the rare hybrid beast indeed of 'auteur adaptation'. It's also very entertaining...
No need to book: just turn up.
The film will start promptly at 5.30pm.