The Allegorical Impulse in the Works of Julien Gracq

History as Rhetorical Enactment in Le Rivage des Syrtes and Un balcon en forêt

By Carol J. Murphy

The Allegorical Impulse in the Works of Julien Gracq

204 pp., 6 x 9, notes, bibl

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-9254-1
    Published: January 1995

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Distributed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Romance Studies

The first extensive English language study of Julien Gracq’s work, this book focuses on the role of history in his two major novels and his critical essays. Carol Murphy draws on contemporary theories of allegory, textuality, and history in her analysis of the interplay of fictional and factual history in Gracq's writings. She also shows that history's rhetorical dimension, as presented by Gracq, puts forth the hypothesis that narratives of history influence actual events. In addition, she uses Freudian theory to investigate the links between Walter Benjamin's understanding of history as ruin, Gracq's sense of catastrophic history, and Andre Breton's notion of the "emotional coefficient" of history.