Desire to Know: Erudition, Empiricism and Personal Identity

Sophia Helverson
2020 20th & 21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium  
Desire to Know: Erudition, Empiricism and Personal Identity Literary erudition, erudition displaced from the realm of fact and research into the space of fiction, presents a curious paradox; can fiction help us understand facts? In this essay, I will explore literary erudition for its effects on the reader. To do this, I will first offer a working hypothesis on the shape of literary erudition today, then offer a limit case: the autofictive novels of Nina Bouraoui, specifically Mes mauvaises
more » ... y Mes mauvaises pensées (2005) and Tous les hommes désirent naturellement savoir (2018) in order to make the argument that the erudite approach to scholarship can provide an essential mode of engaging with our world, and not only arcane texts. Today, careful reflection is just as important as it has ever been, as are the erudite methodologies of rigorous analysis, careful assessment of documents, and informed selection of the documents to assess. But, erudition is not the same thing
doi:10.32873/unl.dc.ffsc.022 fatcat:i7nxdxvagnbsvjxuvjofywyisi