“The World of Romain Gary,” a two-day conference hosted by the Center for French Civilization and Culture at New York University, brings together writers and intellectuals from France and the U.S. to revisit and rediscover one of the most fascinating literary figures of the second half of the 20th century. The conference will take place Thursday and Friday, May 4 and 5; featured speakers include the philosopher Bernard-Henri Lèvy, author William Styron, and filmmaker Variety Moszynski.

Organized by Tom Bishop, Gould Professor of French Literature at NYU and director of the Center for French Civilization and Culture, and by author and philosopher Paul Audi, the conference is free and open to the public. For further information call 212.998.8750.

Gary is the author of several award-winning novels including The Roots of Heaven, The Talent Scout, the autobiographical Promise at Dawn, and White Dog. Using the pseudonym Emile Ajar, he successfully mystified the French literary world and, as such, was the only writer to win two Goncourt Prizes. He also served as a diplomat in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the U.N. and as French consul in London and Los Angeles.

The conference schedule follows:

Thursday, May 4 - NYU’s Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, room 914

  • 6:30 p.m. Opening remarks by Tom Bishop & Paul Audi Film showing: Romain Gary by Variety Mosynski, who will be present.
  • 8 p.m. Keynote address: “The Gary Case” by Bernard-Henri Lévy

Friday, May 5 - La Maison Française of NYU, 16 Washington Mews

  • 9:45 a.m. - 1 p.m. “Romain Gary Through the Kaleidosope” by Jean-François Hangouët (Paris).
    “Going Down the Staircase of Success: Romain Gary’s Autobiography” by Carole Allamand (Rutgers University)
    “Chien blanc: Gary Among the Panthers” by Jeffrey Mehlman (Boston University)
    “The Dance of Genghis Cohn: A Literary Submarine” by Astrid Poier-Bernard (University of Graz)
  • 3 - 6:15 p.m. “About Romain Gary” by William Styron (with Tom Bishop)
    “The Company of Men” by David Bellos (Princeton University)
    “Romain Gary’s Use of Alter Egos” by Ralph Schoolcraft III (Texas A&M University)
    “Romain Gary, Diplomat” by Nathalie Loiseau (French Embassy, Washington, D.C.)
    “A Deep-rooted Messianic Belief” by Paul Audi.

The conference is made possible through the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

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