By Erika Ostrovsky

From the production of a neuter pronoun in her earliest paintings, L’Opoponax, to the confusion of genres in her most up-to-date fiction, Virgile, non, Monique Wittig makes use of literary subversion and invention to complete what Erika Ostrovsky accurately defines as renversement, the annihilation of latest literary canons and the production of hugely cutting edge constructs. Erika Ostrovsky explores these features of Wittig’s paintings that most sensible illustrate her literary method. one of the numerous innovative units that Wittig makes use of to accomplish renversement are the feminization of masculine gender names, the reorganization of delusion styles, and the substitute of conventional punctuation along with her personal method of grammatical emphasis and separation. it's the unforeseen volume and caliber of such literary units that make interpreting Monique Wittig’s fiction a clean and lucrative event. Such literary units have earned Wittig the acclaim of her critics and peers—Marguerite Duras, Mary McCarthy, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Nathalie Sarraute, and Claude Simon, to call a few. While reading the intrinsic price of every of Wittig’s fictions individually, Erika Ostrovsky strains the revolutionary improvement of Wittig’s significant literary units as they seem and reappear in her fictions. Ostrovsky continues that the seeds of these thoughts that seem in Wittig’s most up-to-date texts are available way back to L’Opoponax. This proof of development helps Ostrovsky’s idea that clues to Wittig’s destiny endeavors are available in her earlier.

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Additional info for A Constant Journey: The Fiction of Monique Wittig (Crosscurrents Modern Critiques)

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Page 5 Even more than this striking choice however, the nature of the text itself constitutes its principal originality. Incisive yet simple, it expresses Wittig's fundamental convictions in terms that, free of jargon or specialized terminology, are immediately accessible to a general audience. It thus clearly expresses the desire to destroy literary elitism, and it attacks the pervasive tendency to indulge in theoretical discourse (which could be considered a type of establishment). Instead, she chooses to appeal to the imaginative potential of her listeners.

For example, Catherine Legrand shouts all the names of her classmates but leaves out the name of Valerie Borge (O, 235). This blank, this absence of enunciation, is far more eloquent than speech. The name of the beloved remains hidden, unspoken. It is thus allied with the unnameable and the ineffable, which suggests that it is sacred. It also has the allure of the forbidden, of taboo, of transgression (characteristics already evident in the initial portrayals of Valerie Borge, and a motif that reoccurs, in its most powerful form, in a later work by Wittig, Le Corps lesbien).

Also, the lack of precision might allow the setting to maintain its dream-like, utopian quality to the fullest. Or the absence (or deletion) of the refrain may indicate Page 22 an objection to the words "ordre" and "calme," which do not coincide with Wittig's portrayal of love. Another interesting treatment of the Baudelairian poem is its placement in Wittig's text. The former is interspersed, and yet perfectly integrated, in the latter. This is accomplished by an innovation that has already been noted in the case of Scève's Délie: the lack of any marks of punctuation (such as quotation marks) to distinguish Baudelaire's text from Wittig's own.

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