Repression and black holes in Laurent Mauvignier novel about Algerian War

  • Giacomo Raccis Università degli Studi di Bergamo
Keywords: Algeria, Novel, Mauvignier, Repression, France

Abstract

XXth century history obliged narrators to clash with events that was literally inexpressible, measuring the potential and the lack of literary means. Laurent Mauvignier made this confrontarion the centre of his poetics: from minimal, private tragedies to great, historical dramas, passing through the media mystification of absurd fait divers, his novels face the Evil problem and its representation in words.

With Des hommes (2009), Mauvignier addresses his question to one of the most problematic repression object in historical French memory: Algerian War. Building a polyphonic novel, he deals with an event deeply characterized by silence (the veteran silence studied by Benjamin Stora and Andrea Brazzoduro) and that has been manipulated by the institutional and mediatic vulgata. Infact, the narration shows how the amnesty of collective faults is based on the "order to say nothing" (overturning Foucault), first of all caused by the social load of an history that nobody wants.

This paper aims at showing how Mauvignier's work, inspired by modernist novel and "nouveau roman" (Duras, Simon), resorts to literary experimentalism to "défamiliariser" this historical event using the tools of a fiction claiming the value of a "secondary experience" to redeem a piece of history refused by the public discourse.

Author Biography

Giacomo Raccis, Università degli Studi di Bergamo
Dottorato in Teoria e analisi del testo presso la Scuola di dottorato in Culture umanistiche e visive dell’Università di Bergamo, in cotutela con il Centre de recherches italiennes dell'Université Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Défense.

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Published
2015-12-16
How to Cite
Raccis, G. (2015). Repression and black holes in Laurent Mauvignier novel about Algerian War. Between, 5(10). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/1536
Section
Narratives and Imaginaries in Politics and History