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Title:Jules Valles: Counter-Ideologist
Author(s):Weller, Martha H.
Department / Program:French
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Romance
Abstract:The force of Jules Valles' trilogy, Jacques Vingtras (L'Enfant, Le Bachelier, L'Insurge), lies not so much in the events recounted but rather in the structure that informs the work and fuses the numerous individual narratives into an effective counter-ideological weapon. This inner structure is the author's creation of a dialectic through which he systematically attacks the principal hegemonic agencies of the society of his childhood, youth and adulthood: family, school, community and the work place.
This dialectic operates on many levels, including the organization of the sequences and chapters, the narrative techniques employed and the subversion of language through irony. The dialectic does not remain constant throughout the trilogy. The self-constituted arena of internal contradictions in L'Enfant and in Le Bachelier gives way, in L'Insurge, to a rather different strategy, one that forces the reader outside of the closed space of the text, referring him to historical events and to the journalistic writings of the author whose quasi-identity with the narrator becomes more apparent.
Jacques Vingtras, the protagonist of the trilogy, is not Valles but his life is closely patterned on that of his creator. Vingtras consistently views his past, present and future in terms of a struggle against those forces which impede his union with the "people." This union can be achieved and maintained only through negation. Through the text, Valles seeks not only to expose and valorize his own personal experiences, but also to attach the narratives to the real world that exists outside of them.
Valles' counter-ideological strategies, therefore, are employed within a broader framework. This framework can be perceived by examining Valles' text as a "symbolic act," following Fredric Jameson's terminology in The Political Unconscious. The ways in which Valles' texts negate ideology are fused with and are dependent upon the conscious and unconscious purposes served by the texts. Consequently, this study is divided into two sections: Section One is limited primarily to theoretical presentations and textual analyses that seek to grasp the counter-ideological dialectic that operates and evolves in the trilogy; Section Two examines how the author seeks to resolve certain social contradictions through his fictional creation.
Issue Date:1982
Description:270 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8303019
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1982

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