France Literature Part IV

France Literature 4

Sallenave (b. 1940) belongs to the category of educated writers, who construct novel and criticism with the same conceptual precision and the same effective simplicity. Les portes de Gubbio (1980), Un printemps froid (1983) and La vie fantôme (1986) deal with very different themes, revealing in the author, as in many of his contemporaries, an ironic attitude compared to the idées reçues of the end of the century, of Flaubertian ancestry.

Ernaux (b. 1940) makes a calm and desperate woman’s voice heard in the precision of the description of the gap between social image and lived reality (for example, regarding the daughter / mother relationship, in La femme gelée, 1981).

According to PROGRAMINGPLEASE, Ben Jelloun (b. In Fez, Morocco, 1944) represents the voice of North Africa. At first a poet, he later wrote several novels on the contradictions and complexities of that culture (eg, La nuit sacrée, 1987, on the excluded of the Maghreb society, Goncourt prize).

J.-L. Schefer, known in the seventies for his essays on painting (P. Bordone, Paolo Uccello, Il Greco), on Sant’Agostino (Saint Augustin ou l’Invention du corps chrétien) and on cinema (L ‘ homme ordinaire du cinéma, 1980), is configured, with the novel Origine du crime (1985), as the first heir of Proust in French literature at the end of the century, as the author of a renewed meditation on time and memory, and on recherche same that arouses in us: “The book is destined to contain the most fragile object in the world, as if all our science nevertheless resided in it”. The very young H. Guibert affirms in each of his texts a desire to ” say everything ”, in the direction of Sade (“la philosophie doit tout dire”). His first novels (Immagage -fantôme, 1981; Les lubies d’Arthur, 1983) reveal an unusual rigor and mastery in the description and literary transposition of the psychological, family and existential problems of his generation; until the very recent Pour l’ami qui ne m’a pas sauvé la vie (1990), a lucid description of life awaiting death which is that of the narrator suffering from AIDS.

Among the poets, alongside Y. Bonnefoy (b.1923), central figure, poet of meditation, faithful to his ancient idea of ​​an “ Anti-Platon ” – in his poems (Dans le leurre du seuil, 1975) and in the essays on literature (from Rimbaud, 1961, to Nuage rouge, 1977, and Entretiens sur la poésie, 1981) or on art (from Rome 1630, 1970, to Trois remarques sur la couleur, 1978) – A. du Bouchet emerges (b. 1924), disciple of R. Char, subtle and intense explorer of the “ever-repeated void” (Ici en deux, 1985); J. Dupin (b. 1927), who in Dehors (1975) states, with the notion of ” frugal path ”, the need for roots and rigor in the poetic language; and, in a position of its own, between poetry, philosophy and theology, E. Jabès (b.1912), whose interrogative meditation on the Jewish condition, around the inexhaustible notion of ” desert ”, continues in Livre des ressemblances (1976), in connection with the founding poetic experience of M. Jacob and with the researches of Blanchot and Derrida.

Deguy (b. 1930), who directs the magazine Poésie, in his verses brings together the prosody of Du Bellay and that of contemporary American poets, while J. Roubaud (b. 1932), mathematical poet close to Queneau – also author of various novels (La belle Hortense, 1985, trad. it., 1989; L’enlèvement d’Hortense, 1987, trad. it., 1988; L’incendie de Londres, 1989) -, a series of very tight formal constructions, and solicits in another direction the narrative possibilities contained – and unexplored – in the fabric of ancient poetic discourse (texts of the troubadours, treasure of the sonnet).

On the sidelines, or almost, J. Réda (b.1929), piéton de Paris, who passes from a classical style prosody, that of the quiet step, to a moved, irregular, pressing poetry, in which the rhythms of jazz are recognized (The improvise, 1980).

As for the poets of Tel quel, they question the very notion of poetry in different ways.

Pleynet (b. 1933) analyzes and subverts the relationship between ” singing ” and ” criticism ” (Stanze. Incantation dite au bandeau d’or, 1973; Fragments du Choeur, 1980; L’amour vénitien, 1988). D. Roche (b. 1937) challenges the various conventions that found poetry and explores the possibilities of photography and the language of the novel, the occasion of a composite autobiography (Louve Bassi). J. Risset, starting from the publication of Jeu (1971), experiments with the ” minimal cells ” of fiction (Mors, 1977; La traduction commence, 1978) and ” amnesic music ” Sept passages de la vie d’une femme, 1986; L’amour de loin, 1988).

Among the poets that derive from Tel quel, those who gather around the magazine TXT take up some directions of the French poetic language that are not very popular in recent times (the polilingualism of Rabelais and that of Artaud): the violence that is exercised, against the language itself, in the texts of C. Prigent (L’oeuf-glotte, 1976) or J.-P. Verheggen, born in 1942 (Degré zorro de l’écriture, 1978), in the desire to found a new language, we also find in the theatrical language of V. Novarina, born in 1942 (Les discours aux animaux, 1975). A new anxiety about narrative is perceived in the researches, still linked to the ” white ” poetry of Mallarme’s memory, by A. Veinstein, Cl. Royet-Journoud, A.-M. Albiach, Cl. Esteban.

The prose-poetry subdivision itself often appears as a mere survival, even if in recent years it indicates a new interest in the fixed forms of the past (starting from J. Roubaud’s research on troubadours). The new writers destroy the notion of genre even within a single composition; poetry and prose can change their respective functions and attributes, as do poetry and criticism. Contemporary French poetry thus brings us back to the central problem of current literature, that of the writer-reader, who quotes, parodies, rewrites, sings and criticizes in a single gesture.

France Literature 4