Claude Simon: A Retrospective by Jean H. Duffy

By Jean H. Duffy

This choice of essays celebrates the paintings of the French Nobel prize-winning novelist Claude Simon. students from France, Germany, the USA and the uk re-examine the fifty years of Simon’s fiction within the gentle of his large-scale autobiographical novel Le Jardin des Plantes (1997). From quite a few views – postmodernist, psychoanalytic, aesthetic – individuals examine the important paradox of Simon’s paintings: his writing and rewriting of an adventure of warfare so disruptive and irritating that phrases can by no means be enough to speak it. The layers of artifice in Le Jardin des Plantes and the character of Simon’s aesthetic are analyzed in essays which discover intertextual resonances among Simon and Proust, Flaubert, Borges and Poussin. A complementary view of Simon’s Photographies 1937–1970 indicates that it can also be obvious as kind of oblique autobiography.

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By Jean H. Duffy

This choice of essays celebrates the paintings of the French Nobel prize-winning novelist Claude Simon. students from France, Germany, the USA and the uk re-examine the fifty years of Simon’s fiction within the gentle of his large-scale autobiographical novel Le Jardin des Plantes (1997). From quite a few views – postmodernist, psychoanalytic, aesthetic – individuals examine the important paradox of Simon’s paintings: his writing and rewriting of an adventure of warfare so disruptive and irritating that phrases can by no means be enough to speak it. The layers of artifice in Le Jardin des Plantes and the character of Simon’s aesthetic are analyzed in essays which discover intertextual resonances among Simon and Proust, Flaubert, Borges and Poussin. A complementary view of Simon’s Photographies 1937–1970 indicates that it can also be obvious as kind of oblique autobiography.

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Such a breakdown of order results in the dispersion of random elements whose sequence and relation are now left to chance. The resulting cynicism and disrespect for any hierarchy, law, 34 David Carroll form or tradition that would command how these moments are to be experienced, represented or retold constitutes what could be called the ‘origin’ of Simonian memory and narrative, the void (of both form and meaning) around which and in terms of which memory and the repeated retelling and restructuring of the past are formed and reformed.

In writing that is exceptionally rich, sensual, tangible and diverse, Simon’s language inaugurates links, passages and echoes between and across different times, histories, landscapes and voices. Moreover, his art of associating sound and movement as well as the visual and the linguistic anchors them to the material and symbolic conditions for linking and resectioning. ), Les Sites de l’écriture: Colloque Claude Simon, Paris, Nizet, 1995. Calle-Gruber suggests that the word ‘site’ evokes geographical location, archeological or geological survey or industrial space; however, ‘il importe surtout d’entendre que site se donne comme lieu d’opérations et de configurations.

9 Simon’s adult narrators’ recol7 Ralph Sarkonak, Claude Simon: Les Carrefours du texte, Toronto, Les Editions du Paratexte, 1986, p. 156. Celia Britton, Claude Simon: Writing the Visible, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1987, pp. 119–24. 8 See Jean Duffy, ‘Claude Simon, Merleau-Ponty and Perception’, French Studies, vol. 1, January 1992, pp. 33–52 and her Reading Between the Lines: Claude Simon and the Visual Arts, Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 1998. See also Pascal Mougin, L’Effet d’image: essai sur Claude Simon, Paris, L’Harmattan, 1997.

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