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Masking Strategies

Unwrapping the French Paratext


Edited By Alistair Rolls and Maire-Laure Vuaille-Barcan

Gérard Genette’s seminal study of the paratext, Seuils (1987), is the starting point for this collection of essays, all of which seek not only to engage with Genette’s taxonomy and apply it, but also to interrogate it and to move through and beyond it. In addition to mapping Genette’s organization of (para)textual space onto a number of French texts, including novels and plays, texts translated into French, book series and publishing marketing material, these essays take up some of the challenges raised in Seuils as well as posing their own. For example, the relationship between Genette’s work and deconstructionist approaches to text and the intersection of paratextuality and translation, which are hinted at by Genette, are explored in more detail in the volume, as is the notion of moving through and beyond the paratext. As such, this book offers a significant re-engagement with and deployment of paratextual theory and practice.


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Acknowledgements vii Alistair Rolls and Murray Pratt Introduction: Unwrapping the French Paratext 1 David Gascoigne Paratext Rules OK 13 Gemma Le Mesurier Reading Against the Author: Layers of Impotence in Stendhal’s Armance 27 Alistair Rolls The Striptease at the Dead Heart of Douglas Kennedy’s Piège nuptial or How to be a bit French around the Edges 47 Marie-Laure Vuaille-Barcan Douglas Kennedy or an American in Paris: Paratextual Strategies and ‘Acclimatization’ of the Translated Text 69 Murray Pratt ‘Un jeu avec le je’: Frédéric Beigbeder and the Value of the Authorial Paratext 85 vi Hélène Jaccomard The Paratext of Yasmina Reza’s « Art »: Overf lowing the Image 99 Jean Fornasiero and John West-Sooby Covering Up: Translating the Art of Australian Crime Fiction into French 119 Françoise Grauby Writing (Learning about): French Writing Manuals and the Peritext 137 Alistair Rolls and Marie-Laure Vuaille-Barcan Postface: Paratextuality, Self-Alterity and the Becoming-Text 159 Notes on Contributors 187 Index 191

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