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Ecriture et altérité dans trois romans de J. M. G. Le Clézio : Désert, Onitsha et La quarantaine

Jarlsbo, Jeana LU (2003) In Études Romanes de Lund 66.
Abstract
The aim of this thesis is to examine the relationship between writing and alterity in three recent novels written by J. M. G. Le Clézio, Désert (1980), Onitsha (1991) and La quarantaine (1995), which deal with the encounter between the so-called primitive cultures and Western society. The first chapter contains a more general discussion on the discourse of alterity in literature and the French exotic contemporary novel. In order to place this study in a critical context, this chapter includes a survey of the main critical works concerning alterity in Le Clézio’s novels. In the second chapter, each of the three novels is analysed according to a general scheme, emphasis being put on narrative techniques, thematic aspects and stylistic... (More)
The aim of this thesis is to examine the relationship between writing and alterity in three recent novels written by J. M. G. Le Clézio, Désert (1980), Onitsha (1991) and La quarantaine (1995), which deal with the encounter between the so-called primitive cultures and Western society. The first chapter contains a more general discussion on the discourse of alterity in literature and the French exotic contemporary novel. In order to place this study in a critical context, this chapter includes a survey of the main critical works concerning alterity in Le Clézio’s novels. In the second chapter, each of the three novels is analysed according to a general scheme, emphasis being put on narrative techniques, thematic aspects and stylistic features. Particular attention is paid to the connection between History, on the one hand, and different myths and legends belonging to the primitive culture, on the other hand. The analysis reveals a number of writing strategies adopted by the novelist in telling about the Other and the confrontation between the primitive world and the West. These strategies rely partly on the polysemic nature of the text, partly on changes in the possibilities to represent the described objects and space. Intertextuality is pointed out as one of the main sources of polysemy in Le Clézio’s novels, especially in La quarantaine. In a broader perspective, the last chapter links the results of the analysis to the interaction between the text and its Western reader. Relevant aspects here are the relations between understanding and interpreting, the reader’s competence and different ways of reading. The study takes into consideration the reading effects produced by these novels (especially when the reader is confronted with symbols foreign to the Western culture), their appeal to the reader’s interpreting activity and the reader’s attitude towards the ethical values proposed by Le Clézio’s fiction. The study concludes with a suggestion as to the ideal reading of these novels, a reading which could conciliate their lyricism and dream-like atmosphere with their pronounced opening towards the socio-historical dimensions of reality. This ideal reading would allow the reader to form an image of the Other that respects the complexity of Le Clézio’s writing. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Cosnefroy-Dollé, Marie, Université de Picardie Jules Verne
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
J. M. G. Le Clézio, alterity, narrative techniques, exotic novel, stylistic features, description, representation, writing strategies, intertextuality, "effet-valeur", Western reader, understanding and interpreting, reader's competence, French literature, Fransk litteratur, literature criticism, General and comparative literature, image of the Other, literary theory, Allmän och jämförande litteratur, litteraturkritik, litteraturteori, French language, Franska språket
in
Études Romanes de Lund
volume
66
pages
227 pages
publisher
Department of Romance Languages
defense location
Carolinasalen, Kungshuset, Lund, Sweden
defense date
2003-04-11 13:00
ISSN
0347-0822
ISBN
91-973886-5-3
language
French
LU publication?
yes
id
7123add3-2b4c-46db-b569-5029f7b31c48 (old id 21478)
date added to LUP
2007-05-28 15:15:38
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:55
@phdthesis{7123add3-2b4c-46db-b569-5029f7b31c48,
  abstract     = {The aim of this thesis is to examine the relationship between writing and alterity in three recent novels written by J. M. G. Le Clézio, Désert (1980), Onitsha (1991) and La quarantaine (1995), which deal with the encounter between the so-called primitive cultures and Western society. The first chapter contains a more general discussion on the discourse of alterity in literature and the French exotic contemporary novel. In order to place this study in a critical context, this chapter includes a survey of the main critical works concerning alterity in Le Clézio’s novels. In the second chapter, each of the three novels is analysed according to a general scheme, emphasis being put on narrative techniques, thematic aspects and stylistic features. Particular attention is paid to the connection between History, on the one hand, and different myths and legends belonging to the primitive culture, on the other hand. The analysis reveals a number of writing strategies adopted by the novelist in telling about the Other and the confrontation between the primitive world and the West. These strategies rely partly on the polysemic nature of the text, partly on changes in the possibilities to represent the described objects and space. Intertextuality is pointed out as one of the main sources of polysemy in Le Clézio’s novels, especially in La quarantaine. In a broader perspective, the last chapter links the results of the analysis to the interaction between the text and its Western reader. Relevant aspects here are the relations between understanding and interpreting, the reader’s competence and different ways of reading. The study takes into consideration the reading effects produced by these novels (especially when the reader is confronted with symbols foreign to the Western culture), their appeal to the reader’s interpreting activity and the reader’s attitude towards the ethical values proposed by Le Clézio’s fiction. The study concludes with a suggestion as to the ideal reading of these novels, a reading which could conciliate their lyricism and dream-like atmosphere with their pronounced opening towards the socio-historical dimensions of reality. This ideal reading would allow the reader to form an image of the Other that respects the complexity of Le Clézio’s writing.},
  author       = {Jarlsbo, Jeana},
  isbn         = {91-973886-5-3},
  issn         = {0347-0822},
  keyword      = {J. M. G. Le Clézio,alterity,narrative techniques,exotic novel,stylistic features,description,representation,writing strategies,intertextuality,"effet-valeur",Western reader,understanding and interpreting,reader's competence,French literature,Fransk litteratur,literature criticism,General and comparative literature,image of the Other,literary theory,Allmän och jämförande litteratur,litteraturkritik,litteraturteori,French language,Franska språket},
  language     = {fre},
  pages        = {227},
  publisher    = {Department of Romance Languages},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Études Romanes de Lund},
  title        = {Ecriture et altérité dans trois romans de J. M. G. Le Clézio : Désert, Onitsha et La quarantaine},
  volume       = {66},
  year         = {2003},
}