“Before I got my eye put out: Dickinson’s Eye Disease Seen from a Psychopathological Perspective” – Antoine Cazé – Emily Dickinson International Society

Posted on September 1, 2021

Antoine Cazé explores the links between Emily Dickinson’s poetry and the eye troubles she experienced from 1863 to 1865. The talk is not a psycho-biographical reading of her work. Rather, Cazé seeks to understand how visuality works in her poetry and how it gets expressed simultaneously in linguistic signs and medical symptoms. By working and living largely at a distance, Dickinson shunned the gaze of others and thereby controlled the gaze. Cazé explores ways that such distances worked to set up Dickinson’s mental structure. He concludes by examining the tension between the visible and the invisible in several poems. 


Antoine Cazé is on the EDIS Board. He holds a PhD in American Literature (Université Paris Diderot, 1992). His dissertation was on Emily Dickinson, studying the poetic figures of religious heterodoxy in her œuvre. He has written some 85 research articles on American literature, and two books on poets John Ashbery and Hilda Doolittle. A major research interest involves the relationships between personal voice and impersonal composition procedures in post-lyric poetry.

At the Université de Paris, Antoine runs a graduate program in Literary Translation as well as a research group devoted to the study of cutting-edge experimental American literature. A professional literary translator since 1999, he has published over 20 translations. He won the 2005 Maurice-Edgar Coindreau Prize for the best translation of an American book, and the Laure Bataillon Prize in 2014. From 2015 to 2019, Antoine Cazé served as Vice-President for International Relations at Université Paris Diderot; he is currently Senior Adviser for European Relations at Université de Paris.