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  • Travail Universitaire sur HoL

    Bonjour,

    je sais bien que le forum est plongé dans le coma, mais sait-on jamais, le moindre sursaut peut faire sens.

    Etudiant en M1, j'ai deux travaux à effectuer, l'un sur la notion de Metafiction, et l'autre sur la notion de Personnage. J'ai la possibilité de faire ce travail sur l'oeuvre que je souhaite, et je compte me pencher sur HoL.

    J'ai quelques semaines pour étudier ces questions, qui doivent être "élucidées" en à peu près 1000 mots chacunes ( ce que je trouve assez restrictif ).

    Voici donc mes idées.

    Pour la notion de Métafiction, j'ai un plan en 3 parties ( hé oui, ça reste l'université et ses carcans )

    1) Le fait que le livre débute sur
    This novel is a work of fiction. Any references to real people, events, establishments, organizations or locales are intended to give the fiction a sense of reality and authenticity.
    => ce qui est commun (et cliché) à la télévision, mais rare en littérature, avec pour but de mettre à mal le "suspension of disbelief"


    2) LE fait que le livre ait un thème fantastique (la qui s'agrandit), mais étudié de manière universitaire (foule de notes de bas de page, explications scientifiques, etc)


    3) Les "meta références", avec évidemment le fait qu'à la fin, Navidson lise son propre livre =>Mise en abyme, et ça c'est chouette.




    En conclusion, je comtpe parler du fait que métaphoriquement, la des feuilles est à la fois le livre lui meme et son contenu (j'avais déjà créé un topic là dessus, le fait que la et ses couloirs est une métaphore du livre et des interprétations sans fin)


    Et surtout, petite note ironique, je compte terminer sur la présence de l'index, qui m'a facilité la tâche, et qui est bien la preuve d'une prise en considération de "l'univers" dans lequel l'objet livre va continuer de vivre.


    Voila, donc si quelqu'un a des critiques à faire, des conseils à me donner, je suis fortement preneur ! Et on verra ensuite pour le second sujet.

    Merci de votre lecture !

  • #2
    Bon bah j'ai eu 14, sans aide

    La 3eme partie de mon mémoire va beaucoup se baser sur HoL également, j'espère que ça va aussi bien marcher.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Taff
      Bon bah j'ai eu 14, sans aide

      La 3eme partie de mon mémoire va beaucoup se baser sur HoL également, j'espère que ça va aussi bien marcher.
      Félicitations ! N'hésite pas à partager tes travaux à l'occasion.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ma foi, pourquoi pas! Le travail était en 2 parties, l'une sur la notion de métafiction, et l'autre sur la notion de personnage. Le truc, c'est que c'est rédigé en anglais..

        Voici la partie sur la notion de personnage :

        The story of of Leaves could be parodied as such : it tells the story of a home-made video whose existence cannot be proved, analysed by a blind lonely old man, whose notes are put together by a drug addict having hallucinations. Such a description epitomizes what is a major point of Fantastic novels, and of Leaves itself : the unreliable narrator.


        “Unreliable narrator” is a term coined by Wayne Booth. In his work, he showed that the use of certain of rhetorical techniques, such as a lack of information about the narrator, or even the fact that the narrator's point of view does not seem truthful, novels manipulate their readers in order to invite particular kinds of responses. This technique deals a blow to those who think that a book is only what it tells. On the opposite, through an unreliable character, the reader has to doubt in order to create his own meaning.


        This book has an innovative narration based on four characters who comment on each other, and shed light on each other's story. The editors of the book themselves – who of course are not the “real” editors of the book – open the book with a foreword, explaining that we can contact them is we find errors in the book. Thus, the editor themselves, who should be the most reliable elements in the making of the book, are prone to making mistakes. Their role in the book is to provide translations to extracts written in French, German or Latin, but they also take hindsight on the events of the book. They even go as far as showing that a part of a book, about the trauma of Navidson who took “the renowned image [which] shows a Sudanese child dying of starvation, too weak to move even though a vulture stalks her from behind”. ( p368 ) must be an invention. In a footnote, they say :


        “This is clearly based on Kevin Carter's 1994 Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of a vulture preying on a tiny Sudanese girl who collapsed on her way to a feeding center.”


        With this comment, not only do they make an interesting connection between two events, which can help to a better understanding of the novel, but they also show that one of them is based on the other. Thus, the story that we read is a fiction. More than anything else, it shows that the author, the “real” author, Mark Z. Danielewski, makes a point of being self-conscious : through the editor, he tells us what his inspiration was.


        Thus, the Editors, though they don't really take part in the story, are characters who helps to strengthen our suspension of disbelief, by showing how unreliable the other characters are. And it is right in the beginning of the book that we learn how to doubt what is being told to us.


        Johnny Truant finds a manuscript scattered in an old and probably insane man's room, and tries to put it together. Zampano's notes are therefore processed by Johnny, but it is something that we may not be aware of at first : we just think that he puts the notes together without modifying them, but as soon as the page 16, after a strange coincidence between what happens in The Navidson Record and Johnny's life, Johnny makes a confession :


        “Now I'm sure you're wondering something. Is it just a coincidence that this cold water predicament of mine also appears in this chapter?
        Not at all. Zampano only wrote “heater.” The word “water” back there– I added that.
        Now there's an admission, eh ?
        Hey, not fair, you cry.
        Hey, hey, fuck you, I say.”


        Not only does he admit his interference with the original text, but he also taunts at the reader, going as far as to insult him, to show that he is the one who found the notes, and now, he owns them and can do whatever he wants with them. From then on, the reader will not be able to stop questioning the truth, thinking that such changes may happen in other parts of the book.


        This quote has long been discussed among his readers, on his website – thus creating a community around a book, showing how participative the reader has to be. In an interview, Mark Z. Danielewski says about this quote :


        The way that Johnny projects himself into, or onto, Zampano's book shows how the text of The Navidson Record functions as it is being read and assembled by the reader themselves. Johnny even goes so far as to modify it. Not only does the book permit that, it is really saying to the reader; “Now you modifiy it.” that invitation aspect of the book at least has been very successful.


        It is as if Johnny were a device used by Mark Z. Danielewski in order to involve us in the text, by doubting him in order to “write” the text by ourselves. The notion of the unreliable narrator is therefore used as a way to make the reader more active. The author himself emphasizes on this point in his interview, stating that in real life, there is no real Truth, a fact is always processed by the one seeing or talking about it, a reality that he wanted to put at the heart of his work :


        Let us say there is no sacred text here. That notion of authenticity or originality is constantly refuted. The novel doesn't allow the reader to ever say, “Oh, I see : this is the authentic, original text, exactly how it looked, what it always had to say.[...] We believe that our memories keep us in direct touch with what has happened. But memory never puts us in touch with anything directly; it's always interpretative, reductive, a complicated compression of information. In of Leaves, you're always encountering texts where some kind of intrusion's taking place. The reason ? No one is ever presented with the sacred truth, in books or in life. And so we must be brave and accept how often we make decisions without knowing everything. Of course, this poses a difficult question : can we retain that state of conscious unknowing and still act, or must we, in order to act, necessarily pretend to know ?


        This question of a reduced and unreliable knowledge is enhanced by the presence of a multiplicity of narrators. Each character lives a different story, thus the aim is not what the story itself, but rather what the stories tell about the characters, and how each character represent a layer of the book itself, each one supporting the storyline of the other and interacting with it, whether by a paralleling it, or going as far as interfering with it. An example of these different layers is how the narration changes according to the focaliser. When the story is focalised on Navidson, the text is quite ordinary, even though it emphasizes a lot on image, since Navidson is a photographer. “Tom's Story”, which focuses on Tom, is presented under the form of a play, with some stage directions under a different font. Karen's testimony is written under the form an interview, once again with a different font. Each characters has its own font : “In an effort to limit confusion, Mr Truant's footnotes will appear in Courier Font while Zampanos will appear in Times”


        Using Bakhtin's terminology, we can say that of Leaves is far from being monologic. In Problems in Dostoevsky's Poetics, Bakhtin uses the term “dialogic” in order to refer to a text in which there is a plurality of voices, which is clearly the case here. The difference of tone in the voices can be underlined by the different fonts used. Johnny Truant, the intermediary between Zampano's notes and the reader has his story told with the font “Courier” . We could think that the main character is Johnny, because he is the one who opens the book. But since the book can be begun with the appendixes, this point is not relevant. Thus, no voice in this book prevails on an other, making of Leaves a polyphonic novel.


        Mark Z. Danielewski borrows the main features of Fantastic genre : the big labyrinthine mansion, the invisible threat, the loneliness, and above all, the unreliable narrators. It might not be a coincidence that his sister's artist name is Poe.
        Last edited by Taff; 06-05-2010, 09:40 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Et la partie sur le concept de Metafiction


          This novel being filled with metafictionnal elements, I will focus my attention on 3 interwoven elements : the note to the reader, the self-references and the mise-en-abyme.


          « This novel is a work of fiction. Any references to real people, events, establishments, organizations or locales are intended to give the fiction a sense of reality and authenticity. »


          The of Leaves opens with these sentences, a cliché borrowed from television series, not only as a way to warn the reader – who does not need to be warned since he must have found the book in the Fiction shelf of a library – but more as a way to play with the reader and his suspension of disbelief. This concept is swept away by this “note to the reader” : everything that he is going to read is totally fictional, and he must remember it.


          Interestingly enough, of Leaves is a book featuring fantastic elements, such as a which is larger in the inside than on the outside, dark corridors growing randomly and a strange sound leading those who hear it to madness, all of that in a very down to earth setting. In Fantastic novels, such as Poe's, the fantastic elements happen, exist, but are never put into question, but here, it is quite the contrary. On one hand, from the very first lines of the book, we are told that everything we are going to read is invented, but on the other hand, the unexplainable is deeply analysed, explained, compared :


          “Unlike The Twilight Zone, however, or some other like cousin where understanding comes neat and fast ( i.e. “This is clearly a door to another dimension!” or “This is a passage to another world- with directions!”) the hallway offers no answers. The monolith in 2001 seems the most appropriate cinematic analog, incontrovertibly there but virtually inviolate to interpretation.”


          Indeed, the hallway offers no answer, but the characters will try to find some, or will instead ask questions. The book is full of references – both real and invented – there is hardly a page without footnotes which go as far as explaining physic phenomenon such as the absence of Echo in the dark corridors of the of Leaves :


          “Point of fact, the human ear cannot distinguish one sound wave from the same sound wave if it returns in less than 50 milliseconds. Therefore for anyone to hear a reverberation requires a certain amount of space. At 68 degrees Fahrenheit sound travels approximately 1,130ft per second. A reflective surface must stand at least 56 1/2ft away in order for a person to detect the doubling of her voice. In other words, to hear an echo, regardless of whether eyes are open or closed, is to have already “seen” a sizable space.” (p50)


          Mark Z Danielewski uses science to explain the unexplainable, which leads to a kind of over-explanation which is a constant throughout the book, setting the fantastic story in a very coherent environment. The novel has thus been described as a “a satire on the business of criticism and a meditation on the way we read” (Peter Beaumont, Observer). Indeed, not only is the book trying to always explain itself, it also can not help but reach out to the reader. By putting him face to face with unexplainable events which still are decipherable, it enables the reader to think by himself : it is up to the reader to choose which corridor he will explore.


          The of Leaves is a book, but can also be seen as the described in the book. Indeed The is larger on the inside than on the outside, but if we take a book metaphorically, it is the same thing. The book has got a finite dimension, but inside its pages, a world opens, full of possibilities, and seemingly never-ending. An edition of the book goes as far as to make the cover smaller than the pages themselves, leading to that interpretation, and building a link between the medium and its content. The dark corridors, the gigantic hallway, the never-ending staircase all represent meaning: infinite, leading everywhere, but still void in the end.
          Holloway, Jed, Navidson represent the readers seeking a special meaning : they prepare themselves before entering the , just as someone who wants to explain a text must have a cultural background, and the tools to study the text. The explorers try to light themselves in the dark corridors just like a reader tries to enlighten the text.
          The monster is the chimera that every reader goes after : a Unique Meaning. Always roaring about, seemingly graspable, menacing at times, but never found. The name of the book itself is a direct nod, and, in a way, the title has more meaning if it refers to a book rather than to a .
          The concept of mimesis thus reaches the pinnacle of achievement, the book is frame breaking as can be, making the object book a mean of understanding its content.


          All of this leading to a mise-en-abyme whose grand finale is the ending, when one of the main characters, Navidson “turns his attention to the last possible activity, the only book in his possession : “ of Leaves”” (p465). A never-ending loop is created : The Book is about a in which a lost man reads a Book about a ... The only way out of this loop is the reader, he is the only person “out” of the of Leaves, making him the only person with the key, the choice to explore it the way he wants, with all the hindsight the novel gave him.




          The book opens itself to its analysis , by providing an index including the key words of the book that I used in this work, such as echo, footnote, editors, frame and the pages in which they appear.
          In the appendix, Mark Z. Danieleswki included some drafts of the book, which seems to be written by Zampano himself (the stains, the layout, etc). The credits ends with a “special thanks to the Talmor Zedactur Depositary for providing a VHS copy of “Exploration 4” “. Thus, the book started by showing that nothing is real, but ends on an opposite note, by showing how it is anchored in reality. Invention and Reality, two sides of a coin flipping so fast that they both blur into one.

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