Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Maps and TerritoriesGlobal Positioning in the Contemporary French Novel$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Joshua Armstrong

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786942012

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786942012.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Décalage Permanent

Décalage Permanent

Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s Fuir

(p.85) Chapter Four Décalage Permanent
Maps and Territories

Joshua Armstrong

Liverpool University Press

This chapter turns to Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s Fuir [Running Away] (Prix Médicis, 2005), which takes place in the overcrowded and fever-pitched territories of industrial hubs of Shanghai and Beijing of the 2000s. There, even Toussaint’s perennially laconic narrator finds himself caught up in the frenzy and panic of the compressed space-time of impending catastrophe that prevails. Toussaint’s narrator, like a postmodern Angel of (the end of) History, following the example of his muse Marie, discovers in an epiphany that ‘adequation’ with a world cast into the accelerated flight of globalization is not harmonious like its cartographic or commercial representations, but, rather, chaotic, always already beyond itself; true adequation with such a world turns out to be, paradoxically, a permanent state of décalage. This chapter reads Fuir in light of Bruno Latour’s reading of Walter Benjamin’s concept of the Angel of History. Moreover, it demonstrates the importance and after-effects of Toussaint’s narrator’s epiphany in Fuir for the subsequent novels in the Marie Madeleine Marguerite de Montalte (MMMM) tetralogy.

Keywords:   Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Fuir / Running Away, La salle de bain / The Bathroom, Bruno Latour, Compositionist Manifesto, Walter Benjamin, The Louvre, Angel of History, David Harvey, China

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.