Colloques & Conferences de l'Universite Lyon 2, "Rewriting / Reprising" - La reprise en litterature

A stitch in time ... how travel notes and a short-story written by Anthony Trollope in 1859 shape the 1839 plot of Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea.

Nicole Terrien

Dernière modification: 2007-06-27


The title of this conference invites us to revisit the well-accepted notion in literary criticism that to write is to rewrite.[1] The comparison with the art of sawing draws the attention to a very careful and discreet work, the aim of which is to mask some kind of a rent, a hole in the texture; thus what should have remained hardly perceptible becomes central, almost to the detriment of the rest of the text. This of course, sends us back to the tradition established by Sterne, among others, who devotes a whole chapter of The Life and Opinions of Tritram Shandy to the art of leaving holes, he even refers to buttonholes, in his story without jeopardizing the general coherence of the book[2]. The novel, from its early days, has been a genre playing on the paradox of establishing an illusion of reality to better shatter it and also a genre that externalizes internal interrogations or conflicts. In other words a genre that questions the position of the individual in the world, be it in time or in space.

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