By Erika Ostrovsky
From the production of a neuter pronoun in her earliest paintings, L’Opoponax, to the confusion of genres in her most up-to-date fiction, Virgile, non, Monique Wittig makes use of literary subversion and invention to complete what Erika Ostrovsky safely defines as renversement, the annihilation of present literary canons and the production of hugely leading edge constructs. Erika Ostrovsky explores these features of Wittig’s paintings that most sensible illustrate her literary procedure. one of the numerous innovative units that Wittig makes use of to accomplish renversement are the feminization of masculine gender names, the reorganization of delusion styles, and the substitute of conventional punctuation along with her personal procedure of grammatical emphasis and separation. it's the unforeseen volume and caliber of such literary units that make examining Monique Wittig’s fiction a clean and worthwhile adventure. Such literary units have earned Wittig the acclaim of her critics and peers—Marguerite Duras, Mary McCarthy, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Nathalie Sarraute, and Claude Simon, to call a few. While reading the intrinsic worth of every of Wittig’s fictions individually, Erika Ostrovsky lines the revolutionary improvement of Wittig’s significant literary units as they seem and reappear in her fictions. Ostrovsky keeps that the seeds of these strategies that seem in Wittig’s latest texts are available way back to L’Opoponax. This proof of development helps Ostrovsky’s conception that clues to Wittig’s destiny endeavors are available in her earlier.
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Additional resources for A Constant Journey: The Fiction of Monique Wittig (Crosscurrents Modern Critiques)
Page 3 Prologue "Tout Geste Est Renversement" (Les Guérillères) Renversement, in all its multiplicity of meaningsupheaval, overthrow, reversal, and subversioncan be considered the key to Monique Wittig's writing. From the very start, Wittig's use of this concept has spelled the annihilation of existing literary canons and the creation of highly innovative constructs. Renversement is already evident in her first work, L'Opoponax, published in 1964 during the heyday of the "new novel" in France and during that period's impact on writers from many other countries.
Poems constitute the means of communication between Catherine Legrand and Valerie Borge (O, 19798, 201). And a line of Latin verse"lento me torquet amore"haunts the former, finally conjuring up visions of the beloved that cause the text to erupt with a lyrical intensity unprecedented in L'Opoponax: Elle est à plat ventre sur un cheval sauvage noir blanc gris . . ses cheveux non attachés sont sur le vent on la voit les doigts dans les crinières et les genoux nus, toute couverte de sueur . . la bouche ouverte, les dents à l'air .
They are things, material things, and at the same timetime they mean something. . They are a condensate of abstraction and concreteness, and in this they are totally different from all the other mediums used to create art. (T, 47) Thenreturning to the distinction made earlier between historical or political discourse and the literary textshe goes Page 8 on to explain the use of words in the latter (the domain that obviously concerns her most): In history and politics words are taken in their conventional meaning.