Themes, Forms and Metamorphoses- Essays in Honour of David Gascoigne
Edited By Lorna Milne and Mary Orr
Paul Gif ford - Footprint in the Sand: Tournier’s Re-Writing of Paul Valéry in 'Vendredi ou les limbes du Pacifique' -191
Paul Gif ford Footprint in the Sand: Tournier’s Re-Writing of Paul Valéry in Vendredi ou les limbes du Pacifique Genetically and textually speaking, it is true that ‘No man is an island.’ Michel Tournier provides a particularly rich illustration of this, as Jean- Bernard Vray admirably persuades us in his study of the baroque range of intertextual borrowings and hypertextual practices which he designates collectively as Tournier’s ‘écriture seconde’.1 Seminal hauntings, says Vray, derive both from Tournier’s childhood reading (Curwood, Anderson, Lagerlöf ) and from the texts of adolescent initiation and adult emulation – by, among others, Bloy, Giono, Flaubert, Thomas Mann, Sartre and Valéry. The latter group is most often character- ized by a ‘régime de l’allusion’: that is, a largely tacit form of appropriation (as distinct from the more overt acknowledgement declared in citation and parody); and the form of borrowing/rewriting involved bears wit- ness to an indubitable spell of inf luence, triggering a reactive Narcissan identity-struggle to possess, integrate and transcend, in each case, the presence-in-mind of the alter ego scriptor. Vray notes: ‘On pourrait tenter d’entre-apercevoir […] des sous-textes qui renvoient à Valéry, à Flaubert et à Thomas Mann, comme nous l’avons fait pour Curwood, Anderson ou Lagerlöf.’2 In the case of Valéry, this challenge is not easily taken up, given the frag- mented nature of the Valéryan source-corpus and the largely subterranean echoes it finds in Tournier. Yet none of the inf luences Vray encourages us to discover is more suggestive or rewarding....
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