Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Deux pôles de l’image littéraire au XXe siècle: la poésie plastique de Pierre Reverdy et le mythe dans les romans de Michel Tournier

My dissertation explores the role of poetical and mythical images in twentiethcentury French literature in relation to the visual arts. In the first section, I scrutinize Reverdy’s poetic works and influential definition of the “Image” alongside the innovative painting of his Cubist friends, Picasso, Braque, and Gris. In an overview of formative poetic trends (Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Rimbaud), and in parallel to visual depictions (Manet, Cézanne, and Cubism), we will read Reverdy’s new poetics through the scope of phenomenology: a critical approach that discusses the subject-object intertwining within the creative process (Husserl) as well as the important correlation to internal-external perceptiveness (Merleau-Ponty). In the second part, I analyze the revival of myths in the works of Tournier as another instance of literary images, and study the exposure and reproduction of myths in parallel with the medium of photography. The novelistic exploitation of images will demonstrate, quite similarly as in the poetic exploitation, the quest for one’s self separated from the collectivity while attempting at recapturing a lost identity. This feeling of loss is best exemplified by the photographic imagery. Through Tournier’s texts we will move from an anthropological awareness of depersonalization to a psychological split personality, and then, to a socio-cultural fragmentation of media representations. Some of the most important photographers will provide the illustrations to understand the texts (Atget, Boubat, Clergue, and Tress). The seminal thinking of J.-P. Sartre, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Gaston Bachelard in Tournier’s oeuvre will help to harmonize this three-fold interpretation of the literary image as well as it will link the two “poles” of my thesis by combining the mythical and the poetical structures within a theory of the image in twentieth-century literature.