By Erika Ostrovsky
From the production of a neuter pronoun in her earliest paintings, L’Opoponax, to the confusion of genres in her latest fiction, Virgile, non, Monique Wittig makes use of literary subversion and invention to complete what Erika Ostrovsky accurately defines as renversement, the annihilation of present literary canons and the production of hugely cutting edge constructs. Erika Ostrovsky explores these facets of Wittig’s paintings that top illustrate her literary strategy. one of the numerous innovative units that Wittig makes use of to accomplish renversement are the feminization of masculine gender names, the reorganization of fable styles, and the alternative of conventional punctuation together with her personal procedure of grammatical emphasis and separation. it's the unforeseen volume and caliber of such literary units that make analyzing Monique Wittig’s fiction a clean and worthwhile event. 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 interpreting the intrinsic price of every of Wittig’s fictions individually, Erika Ostrovsky strains the innovative improvement of Wittig’s significant literary units as they seem and reappear in her fictions. Ostrovsky keeps that the seeds of these techniques that seem in Wittig’s most modern texts are available way back to L’Opoponax. This facts of development helps Ostrovsky’s concept that clues to Wittig’s destiny endeavors are available in her earlier.
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Extra info for A Constant Journey: The Fiction of Monique Wittig (Crosscurrents Modern Critiques)
The final interweaving of the two texts is certainly the most significant. Together they create an intense sense of presence by their parallel use of the present tensea presence and a present outside of time. Both coincide in the feeling they produceone of plenitude, harmony, and serenity. In Page 23 Wittig's text, however, a juxtaposition occurs that adds complexity to the emotions elicited. While the last tercet of Baudelaire's poem evokes a setting of peace and splendor, a dreamlike atmosphere in which the colors of purple and gold predominate and sleep descends on a world bathed in gentle light, the scene in Wittig's text is set in a cemetery during the burial of an old maid, 26 and the ambiance is one of solitude, abandon, and sterility (O, 27781).
It will sap and blow out the ground where it was planted. (T, 45) Instantly then, by the use of her simile, she defines the avant-garde work of art (and, incidentally, her own) as an engine fashioned to destroy outmoded, inefficient, traditional forms that, she adds, have become "incapable of transformation" (T, 45). At the same timetime, she emphasizes the constant need for refusal and renewal, lest such a work be accepted (or adopted) by the establishment and thus lose its potential for overthrow.
Also, "à l'ombre de leur dévotion se passe la scrutation païenne," 17 the secret, ritualistic, subversive life of the children. The antagonism between the adult world and an established religion (Catholicism) and the world of childhood and paganism is here paramount. It already foreshadows the renversement that Wittig undertakes in later texts, in which pagan rituals as well as the subversion of established divinities and myths play a dominant role. In L'Opoponax, the renversement is marked both by the activities of the children and by the appearance of several figures from pagan mythology: Romulus and Remus, an unidentified female divinity of Gallo-Roman origin, Artemis, and Orpheus and Eurydice (O, 141, 17778, 210, 251).