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Michel Tournier's Children

Myth, Intertext, Initiation

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Christopher Anderson

Best known in America for his 1970 novel, The Ogre (Le Roi des aulnes), Michel Tournier is arguably France's most important living popular author. Since 1980, however, Tournier has focused on making his fiction accessible to children, who now constitute his primary audience. Dr. Anderson focuses on the evolution of Tournier's writing style in terms of myth, initiation, and intertextual reference. He breaks new ground by demonstrating that Tournier's later works introduce young readers to initiatic structures and a ludic approach to reading, a key to the understanding of Tournier's adult works. It shows, too, the crucial role that initiation and intertextual reference play in unifying all of Tournier's fiction.