In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

De la patrie perdue à la patrie recyclée: Home as a Collage of Recycled Cultural Practices in Serge Doubrovsky's autofiction Elizabeth H. Jones IN HIS INFLUENTIAL STUDY Touching the World: Reference in Autobiography , Jean Paul Eakin argues that "every autobiography is, of course, a repetition of the past, but a repetition with a difference."1 Serge Doubrovsky himself has referred to the significance of repetition within literature , asserting that "un écrivain écrit toujours les même livres, mais autrement."2 In his autofictional writings, works that deliberately set out to contest the boundaries of referential and fictional writing, Doubrovsky seeks to tell the truth of his selfhood without recourse to the leurre of the classic, chronological autobiography.3 Despite his concern with the new, specifically textual innovation and experimentation, his works belie as deep a concern with the past that shapes his identity as any conventional autobiographer. It is, then, perhaps inevitable that repetition should play a crucial role in Doubrovsky's struggle with "une mémoire fallacieuse."4 Indeed, his literary project continually leads him to re-explore and re-narrate the events and experiences that combine to constitute his autofictional self. Rejecting the possibility of a singular or linear notion of either subjectivity or narrative, as well as refusing to subscribe to binary oppositions of truth and fiction, Doubrovsky's autofictional endeavour obliges him to engage not merely in the selection and transformation of the past that Annie Jouan-Westlund argues to be the nature of all autobiographical writing, but in the active construction of an intra-textual double within his "aventure de langage."5 In the discussion that follows, I wish to argue that Doubrovsky's highly original œuvre owes a considerable debt to the panoply of uses of recycling, repetition with a difference and the related devices of citation and plagiarism that shape it, both extra- and intra-textually. Focusing firstly on the role of recycling in the textual construction of these works, i.e., inter-textual recycling , I will move on to focus on the intra-textual theme of cultural dispossession and notions of home, looking particularly at the role of repetition and recycled voices in relation to constructions of spatial and cultural belonging in Doubrovsky's autofictions. One of the most striking examples of recycling in Doubrovsky's work, and one that has been the focus of extensive critical debate, can be identified in its Vol. XLII, No. 4 17 L'Esprit Créateur intertextuality. In evidence across Doubrovsky's autofictional corpus, the wealth of intertextual recyclings encompasses both of those sub-groupings identified by critic Ann Jefferson as "sister-textuality" and "metatextuality."6 Serving to knit together the five distinct volumes of autofiction into one cohesive œuvre, Doubrovsky's individual autofictions frequently demonstrate a self-reflexive impulse. In this way, the narrative of L'Après-vivre incorporates detailed discussions of both Doubrovsky's autofictional project and the sister texts that precede this volume in his autofictional corpus: La Dispersion, FiIs, and Un Amour de soi. The individual roles of these works as part of his global, autofictional project are discussed, as is their impact on the intra-textual Doubrovsky's personal life. This recycling encompasses not just the re-citation of extant sister texts, but also metatextual commentary on the intra-textual writer's life, incorporating "behind-the-scenes" reference to the creation of these writings and details of their post-publication critical reception. As such, in L'Après-vivre, considerable space is devoted to the critical reviews that the publication of the work's controversial sister text, Le Livre brisé, elicited. Excerpts from these reviews are cited in the autofiction, interspersed with the intra-textual reactions of Doubrovsky: "Une sorte d'apaisement descend en moi. Naturellement, je suis heureux qu'on aime mon livre. Fierté d'écrivain, sans doute, je ne peux pas m'en empêcher. Mais ce n'est pas du tout l'essentiel . Garcin, que je ne connais pas, m'acquitte" {L'Après-vivre 257). Effecting a binding together of the autofictional corpus, then, such intertextual re-citation also serves an exegetic function, situating and contextualizing individual works both within the Doubrovskian œuvre and within...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1931-0234
Print ISSN
0014-0767
Pages
pp. 17-27
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.