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Title: Bridging the gap : a study of three works by Georges Perec.
Author: Ribiere, Mireille.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3515 7030
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 1985
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Georges Perec's work raises some of the issues most relevant to the debate on literarity and the modern text. The present study concentrates on the production of the text by examining the role played by three types of generators: biographical data in W ou le souvenir d'enfance (1975), literary borrowings in La Disparition (1969) and formal precomposition in Alphabets (1976). In each instance, however, the emphasis on the generative process is only the prelude to a discussion of the readability of the texts illustrating each procedure. In W ou le souvenir d'enfance, where fiction and autobiography alternate from chapter to chapter, this study shows the existence of a gap which is a textual structure as much as a theme: each narrative interferes periodically with the linear continuity of the other and a further disruption within the already disruptive pattern strengthens the principle of textual interaction. La Disparition, a lipogram in "e", is a self referential novel in which literary borrowings help propel the basic generative device; discrepancies in relation to linguistic norms appear as a result of the omission of the letter "e", and the literary montage raises again the issue of textual continuity. In Alphabets, there is yet another gap, of a different type; in this collection of 176 heterogrammatic poems, the co-existence on each page of the lettric pattern and the text it has generated offers a visual image of the tension between the material and the conceptual poles of language. This dual disposition also functions for the reader as an invitation to bridge the typographical gap between the two. The gap, whether considered in terms of narrative and semantic disruptions, or as typographical blank, is generally seen as a distinguishing feature of the modernist text, which has the effect of hindering the process of reading. The three textual analyses carried out in this thesis show that the self-conscious text gains strength from exposing its generative principles and that the gap, as a principle of textual organisation, can be a powerful stimulus to reading. But the critical problems raised are manifold.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature