By Gérard Genette
Les études qui composent ce quantity s'articulent en une suite rigoureuse : Critique et poétique, Poétique et histoire, l. a. rhétorique restreinte (ou métaphore et métonymie), Métonymie chez Proust (ou los angeles naissance du Récit), enfin Discours du récit (pour une technologie du discours narratif) qui est un essai de méthode «appliqué» à l. a. Recherche du Temps perdu. Discours dont l. a. dualité de démarche se veut exemplaire : «La spécificité proustienne est irréductible, elle n'est pas indécomposable. Comme toute œuvre, comme tout organisme, los angeles Recherche est faite d'élémcnts universels qu'elle gather en une totalité singulière. L'analyser, c'est donc aller non du général au particulier, mais bien du particulier au général. Ce paradoxe est celui de toute poétique, sans doute aussi de toute activité de connaissance, toujours écartelée entre ces deux lieux communs incontournables, qu'il n'est d'objets que singuliers, et qu'il n'est de technological know-how que du général ; toujours cependant réconfortée, et comme aimantée, par cette autre vérité un peu moins répandue, que le général est au cœur du singulier, et donc - contrairement au préjugé commun - le connaissable au cœur du mystère.»
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Extra info for Figures III
I was just the way I am,” she says afterward (GCH 199). By “moving,” against all odds, “into expression,” as Julie puts it in “Little Expressionless Animals” (GCH 42), the actress makes a commitment to a kind of existential authenticity and refuses, in Cavell’s phrase, to regard herself “as unknowable” (Claim 464). If Wallace’s understanding of language as a “function of relationships between persons” (CW 44) owes a lot to Wittgenstein, his sense of the nature of those relationships draws on an another early twentieth-century figure, the Russian Formalist Mikhail Bakhtin.
Girl with Curious Hair can been seen both as an exemplary product of what Mark McGurl has dubbed “the program era”—Wallace wrote the stories while enrolled in the University of Arizona’s MFA program—and as an interrogation of that era’s modes and mores. In other words, as much as any literary critic, Wallace took his subject to 24 KASIA BODDY be “the increasingly intimate relation between literary production and the practices of higher education” (McGurl ix). He was an avid reader of fiction by his MFA contemporaries, of the literary theory that then flourished in the academic side of the English Department, and of works of literary criticism that sought to ascertain the state, actual and potential, of the American novel.
On one level, this sentence reads like a parody of monosyllabic minimalism; on another, however, it expresses one of Wallace’s most enduring and deeply felt preoccupations. Here the issue of solipsism is resolved when, in the final paragraph, Mitch turns to look not at the pastoral scene but at Mayflower herself, “and there is something in me that can not close up, in that looking. Mayfly has a body. And she is my morning. Say her name” (GCH 230). As Adam Mars-Jones notes, “minimalism in literature always seems to play hide and seek with sentimentality” (15); but that didn’t seem to bother Wallace.