Pluridisciplinary session 1 (1981)

First activity welcomed at Les Treilles, this session was experimental, the choice of the residents not having been voluntarily guided by any particular theme. The attempt was modest, bringing together three men and two women-a French philosopher, an American poet, a British historian of mathematics, and two American specialists in nineteenth-century French literature. The session proved that the place and the length of the stay made possible to establish a very favorable climate for personal work and to create between men and women of different nationalities and formations a friendship and dialogue going well beyond of intellectual courtesy.

This session was very encouraging and helped to clarify in what spirit the Foundation wished to act.


Participants, Institution and research area : 

Lois Cooper (Princeton University – French Literature -Victor Hugo)

David Fowler (University of Warwick – Ancient Mathematics)

Diane Martin (Princeton University – French Literature -Victor Hugo-)

Jean Petitot (Centre d’Analyse et de Mathématiques sociales, Paris – Mathematics and Linguistic)

Richard Reid (Princeton University – Modern Poetry)

Following this session, Richard Reid wrote this poem published in the first Analects of the Fondation des Treilles :




as the pines’ high castenets

shake their brightening seed,

it is day

and the acorn’s jacketed

limbs are danced from oak

to oak. As a world kills

all dumb time

the silent leavings and love’s most expensive breath

expose the loud rubble of a rumor only.

Mend the ultimate phalanx of stone

that makes place for an olive grove

and, here, for cypresses to negotiate with wind.

The wanting of a human band is

this measure of a hill.

And a snail has gathered an elaborated shell

to a small infinity,

impermanent ear to the earth,

like terraces under the sun, these walls of quiet and rock.

Where the new olives drop

in the absence of her silent, exploded flower

in the near shadow of gone, of folded stars,

the discontinuous leaves

turn quick and whispering an evening secret

of still uncollected



October 1981

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