Chapter 6: A Moral World 81
Chapter 6: A Moral World Critics have long distinguished between the experimental novels Le Clézio wrote before Désert, and his later works that tend to have char- acters with realistic names, rather than puzzle-names such as Jeune Homme Hogan and Adam Pollo, and more linear story lines. Many critics, such as John Taylor, have also commented on the way that his later work has become increasingly autobiographical, in the broad sense that he draws his materials not only from his own life but also from the life of his extended family, going back to the generation that emigrated from Brittany to Mauritius. Another group of stories, how- ever, are neither experimental nor autobiographical, nor do they fit into the group of essays and novels that are deeply philosophical, such as Désert, Ourania and L’inconnu sur la terre. La grande vie, which has been reissued in an edition for younger readers, is a prime exam- ple of a short story that differs remarkably in its tone, style, dialogue, philosophical content, and point from much of what Le Clézio has written. These seemingly less philosophical works are important be- cause when they are taken together with the other bodies of work, they suggest that Le Clézio may be exploring alternative solutions to the moral dilemmas entailed by his philosophical predilections. If the universe is One, or one process of emergent being (esti), a person can be morally directed and enlightened by realizing a con- nection to that...
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