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Grant number: FT-13943-78

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Sara E. Melzer
University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA 90095-9000)

Convention of Meaning in Pascal's Pensees

To examine Pascal's literary practice, and undertake a discussion of Pascal's theory of interpretation that will show that the roots of modern semiotic theory lie in Pascal's working out of the function of convention in creating meaning. In a literary work, vraisemblance or the true-seeming is produced, paradoxically, by conformity to convention. Study will show that by refusing the conventions that create the illusion of truth, the Pensees lead the reader to reinterpret as convention what is usually assumed as truth.

Project fields:
French Literature

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$2,500 (approved)
$2,500 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/1978 – 7/31/1978