Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Language and Literary Form in French Caribbean Writing$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Celia Britton

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380369

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380369.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of
date: 15 December 2017

Discours and Histoire, Magical and Political Discourse in Le Quatrième Siècle

Discours and Histoire, Magical and Political Discourse in Le Quatrième Siècle

Chapter:
(p.103) 7 Discours and Histoire, Magical and Political Discourse in Le Quatrième Siècle
Source:
Language and Literary Form in French Caribbean Writing
Author(s):

Celia Britton

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781380369.003.0008

In Glissant's Le Quatrième Siècle a historical narrative about the Longoué and Béluse families is framed by a series of conversations between Papa Longoué and Mathieu Béluse. This juxtaposition of past and present enables the novel to investigate the very possibility of recovering the past; but the investigation also depends upon the interplay of the two types of discourse defined by Benveniste as discours and histoire, i.e., intersubjective language use versus impersonal, omniscient narration. As the novel proceeds, both oppositions are questioned: the past is revealed as still existing in the present, and it becomes difficult to distinguish between histoire and discours. In other words, omniscient, objective reconstruction of history is impossible, but equally, the past is important only in so far as it determines the present – which it does in two ways: by providing a basis for political action in the present, and through Papa Longoué's magical discourse which performatively brings the past into being.

Keywords:   Le Quatrième Siècle, Emile Benveniste, discours, histoire, discursive structure

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.