Nocturnal Saussure

The Nocturnal Saussure: Linguistic Reactions to Ferdinand de Saussure's Anagram Notebooks is the title of a presentation by Dr Ivan Callus (University of Malta). It is scheduled for Friday 23 April 1999 6.30pm at room 118 Lecture Centre (off car park 2).

Dr Callus summarises the content of Saussure's anagram notebooks - these are unpublished papers in which he speculated that ancient poetry in the Vedic, Greek, Saturnian and Latin traditions were composed according to an arcane anagrammatic compositional principle. The notebooks force a reconsideration of Saussure's life and work. Inevitably, this has led to serious rifts between different traditions of linguistic scholarship, notably between Genevan and Parisian commentators. The paper examines those rifts and assesses the credibility of the different claims and counter-claims, while examining the extent to which Saussure's work and reputation should be revised in the light of the anagram notebooks.

Dr Ivan Callus is a part-time lecturer in the Department of English, Faculty of Arts. He obtained his PhD in English and Critical Theory from the University of Cardiff last year, after researching the implications for poststructuralist thought of a number of unpublished manuscripts by Ferdinand de Saussure. His current research interests involve the relevance of parodic and cryptanalytic techniques in contemporary British fiction and in poststructuralist theory.

April 1999