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Gabrielle Roy and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:-«Terre des Hommes» - Self and Non-Self


Mark E. Bell

The pivotal work within the literary corpus of both Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Gabrielle Roy each, significantly, bears the title Terre des hommes. Saint-Exupéry encapsulates the results of a searching existential and humanist enquiry into a récit (1939), and Roy her similar findings into a thirty-page essay commissioned to introduce the 1967 Montréal World Exposition, itself named «Terre des Hommes». These pieces of writing, and the development of their key themes in other texts, lend themselves eminently to comparison for through Roy's essay we learn of her specific attraction to the Exupérian ethos of «l'homme» (self) and man's interaction with «la terre» (non-self). The present study aims principally to detect the presence of these essences in each author's work. In a subsidiary way it also endeavours to situate their rationals within a certain historico-literary context. Finally, an attempt is made to critically assess especially Roy's distinctive representation, through literature, of the self and the exterior world.
Contents: Saint-Exupéry's Terre des hommes - Gabrielle Roy's introduction to the 1967 World's Fair in Montréal, «Terre des Hommes» - Lay humanism - Ontological phenomenology - The Nietzschean content of «Terre des Hommes».