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|Title:||Memoire et desert. Etude sociocritique de quelques romans de Patrick Modiano, J. M. G. Le Clezio et Michel Tournier|
|Author(s):||Allet, Herve Francois|
|Department / Program:||French|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Abstract:||The objective of this dissertation is to analyze, with an immanent reading that draws on the contributions of formalism, the presence and articulations of discourses of history and ideology in the literary text.
In the first part, entitled "Culture(s) and systems of representation: the anti-totalitarian turning-point," I make ample use of the works of the historians Pascal Ory and Pierre Nora, and of such leading intellectuals as Gilles Lipoveksky, Luc Ferry, Andre Glucksmann, Alain Finkielkraut, Alain Minc and Raymond Aron in order to analyze the novels in the corpus with the whole of post-war intellectual history in mind.
Part II, entitled "The tragic figure of memory", mainly deals with the first three novels of Patrick Modiano, who was born in 1945 and considers himself a product of the Occupation years. My analysis of La Place de l'Etoile (1968) is a study of the intertextuality, onomastics and expressive polyvalencies at stake in this kaleidoscopic story of a young Jew who wants to become French. Modiano, here, uses parody, derision, pastiche and incongruities in order to explore a cultural heritage where the sophisticated fascist literature of the 1930's, as Zeev Sternhell puts it, is abundant. I do not separate the first novel from the following two, La Ronde de Nuit (1969) and Les Boulevards de Ceinture (1972) with which it forms a trilogy dealing with the same search for an absent father, the quest for cultural identity, the obsession with the "dark years" and the question of Jewish identity in a French cultural context.
Part III, entitled "the tragic figure of the desert", is a study of novels that apprehend the western world through the eyes of the Other and are the expression of the end of a cycle, the counter-movement of a national thrust started a century and a half before with the ideology of the colonial conquest and the mythology of the Saharan adventure. I use the works of Gilles Deleuze and Gerard Genette to study Vendredi ou les limbes du Pacifique, in which Michel Tournier rewrites the great novel of origins. Three novels by J. M. G. Le Clezio, Le Proces-verbal (1963), La Guerre (1970) and Desert (1980) turn their back on the literary tradition of the "intellectual hero" and his political pedagogy while failing to fairly represent the oppressed because of the over-simplification of a pre-colonial golden age. This third part ends with the study of La Goutte d'or (1985) by Michel Tournier, a reflection on the semantic and symbolic conflict existing between the sign, or calligraphy, and the image, which he calls the opium of the western world.
The conclusion insists on the difference between the writer who, by renouncing authority, unveils the mechanism of power, and the intellectual who, by investing political debate, also invests the field of power. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
|Rights Information:||Copyright 1994 Allet, Herve Francois|
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2011-05-07|
|Identifier in Online Catalog:||AAI9512283|