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Att översätta världen: Kommunikation och subversivt ärende i Henri Michaux' Voyage en Grande Garabagne
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature.
2003 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The principal aim of this dissertation is to uncover signifying patterns in Henri Michaux’s travel fiction Voyage en Grande Garabagne, and to situate the work in a literary as well as an extralinguistic context. Hereby the dissertation seeks to modify the traditional image of both Voyage and Michaux’s entire literary output as creations allegedly cut off from extralinguistic reality, the literary tradition, and the reader. Ever since the first introductions to Michaux, his texts have erroneously been regarded as merely linguistic innovations or as explorations of the author’s inner landscape. The analysis of Voyage, focusing on both form and content, reveals that the work is, on the contrary, connected to sociocultural reality in a variety of ways. Among other things, it satirizes aspects of society such as religious practices, social hierarchies, judicial systems, colonialism and warfare. In many cases the linguistic form contributes to this satire by displaying verbal innovations, nonsense words, and violations of norms.

By a comparative analysis of Voyage and Carl von Linné’s Iter Laponicum, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Denis Diderot’s Supplément au Voyage de Bougainville, André Malraux’s La Tentation de l’Occident and Anquetil-Duperron’s ”Exposition des usages civils et religieux des parses”, the dissertation brings out Michaux’s attacks on hierarchical and firmly established written structures, and on Western society as a whole. Nevertheless, being a text of great complexity, Voyage does not forfeit it’s singularity by inscribing itself in a literary tradition.

In conclusion the dissertation compares Voyage with two other works by Michaux, Mes propriétés (1929) and ”La marche dans le tunnel” (1943). It argues that in these works, the scene depicted is gradually enlarged, taking in more and more of sociocultural reality. This evolution corresponds to an expanding movement evinced by Michaux’s entire literary output.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2003. , 419 p.
Skrifter utgivna av Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen vid Uppsala universitet, ISSN 0346-7856 ; 39
Keyword [en]
Literature, Henri Michaux, modern literature, literary tradition, travel fiction, authoritarian structures, subversive mission, comparative analysis, sociocultural reality, satire, linguistic innovations, violations of norms, expanding movement
Keyword [sv]
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3867ISBN: 91-554-5797-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-3867DiVA: diva2:163802
Public defence
2003-12-13, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2003-11-20 Created: 2003-11-20 Last updated: 2014-02-10Bibliographically approved

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Wennerström Wohrne, Maria
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