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L'autorepresentation dans le Labyrinthe du monde de Marguerite Yourcenar

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. D.A. Godwin en
dc.contributor.author Snyman, Anna Elisabeth
dc.date.accessioned 2009-01-27T07:18:58Z
dc.date.available 2009-01-27T07:18:58Z
dc.date.issued 2009-01-27T07:18:58Z
dc.date.submitted 2001-05
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1956
dc.description D.Litt. et Phil. en
dc.description.abstract Marguerite Yourcenar was already famous as a writer of historical novels like Mémoires d’Hadrien (1951) and L’Œuvre au Noir (1968), when the first volume of her three-volume autobiography, Le Labyrinthe du Monde, appeared in 1974. Readers expecting to find out at last who Yourcenar really was, were to be disappointed for in Le Labyrinthe du Monde, the author meticulously explores her genealogy but gives very little direct information about herself. The first volume, Souvenirs pieux (1974), is devoted to the genealogy of the maternal branch of Yourcenar’s family. The second, Archives du Nord (1977), deals with her father’s genealogy and the final, unfinished volume, Quoi? L’Eternité, published in 1988 after the author’s death, should according to Yvon Bernier, to whom Yourcenar entrusted the care of her documents in her will, have dealt with her father’s death, with some of her earlier writings and with her own life up to the declaration of the Second World War. As it is, of the 624 pages occupied by Le Labyrinthe du Monde in the Gallimard edition of Yourcenar’s collected Essais et Mémoires, only 20 deal specifically with her early childhood. A further 30, recounting the life of her immediate family before and during the First World War, are interspersed with some information on her life between the ages of 11 and 15. The fact that the autobiographical subject’s own story is largely absent from this text, left students of Yourcenar’s work with the question whether Le Labyrinthe du Monde could still be considered an autobiography. Several articles were published on the subject, but only one detailed study by Simone Proust who explains the unconventional autobiographical form of Yourcenar’s text by linking it to the influence of Buddhism on the author’s thought. The present study pursues the hypothesis that although the author does not tell her own story in detail in a conventionally autobiographical form, she represents herself in several ways. This analysis is carried out in four phases. The first identifies the main theoretical issues regarding the question of self-representation in language which are the subject of an ongoing debate. Secondly, a detailed analysis of self-representation in the three volumes of Le Labyrinthe du Monde is undertaken. Thirdly, possible links between Yourcenar’s autobiography and the rest of her œuvre are explored. The last section is an attempt to situate Yourcenar’s special kind of self-representation within the broader context of some twentieth century trends of thought. The study arrives at the conclusion that although the story of the autobiographical subject is granted such limited space in Le Labyrinthe du Monde, self-representation does take place in an unconventional and oblique way. Marguerite Yourcenar reveals herself in the way she talks about other people, and the selfportrait that takes form in the text gives a privileged position to the artist at work. Le Labyrinthe du Monde in fact illustrates Yourcenar’s belief that her identity is to a large extent determined by her writerly activity, and reflected in the books she wrote. en
dc.language.iso fr en
dc.subject Marguerite Yourcenar en
dc.subject Labyrinthe du monde en
dc.subject Self in literature en
dc.subject Autobiography in literature en
dc.title L'autorepresentation dans le Labyrinthe du monde de Marguerite Yourcenar en
dc.type Thesis en

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