By Erika Ostrovsky
From the construction of a neuter pronoun in her earliest paintings, L’Opoponax, to the confusion of genres in her most up-to-date fiction, Virgile, non, Monique Wittig makes use of literary subversion and invention to complete what Erika Ostrovsky safely defines as renversement, the annihilation of current literary canons and the construction of hugely leading edge constructs. Erika Ostrovsky explores these features of Wittig’s paintings that most sensible illustrate her literary process. one of the numerous progressive units that Wittig makes use of to accomplish renversement are the feminization of masculine gender names, the reorganization of delusion styles, and the substitute of conventional punctuation along with her personal process of grammatical emphasis and separation. it's the unforeseen volume and caliber of such literary units that make studying 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 examining the intrinsic worth of every of Wittig’s fictions individually, Erika Ostrovsky strains the revolutionary improvement of Wittig’s significant literary units as they seem and reappear in her fictions. Ostrovsky continues that the seeds of these ideas that seem in Wittig’s most up-to-date texts are available way back to L’Opoponax. This proof of development helps Ostrovsky’s idea that clues to Wittig’s destiny endeavors are available in her prior.
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Additional resources for A Constant Journey: The Fiction of Monique Wittig (Crosscurrents Modern Critiques)
The latter serves to emphasize the power of the word wielded by those who are in possession of it. This notion is further developed in Wittig's later works, such as Les Guérillères and Le Corps lesbien. In the case of L'Opoponax, this power seems to manifest itself mainly in the appropriation of language (either by the children or by the author herself) and in the opposition to existing language (either that of adults or that of the literary establishment). Such conscious attack on and alteration of language shows that, from the very start, "word work" is the central concern of a writer, especially this writer.
But it is also the prefiguration of the more audacious reversal and recreation of the Orpheus myth that occurs in several of Wittig's later works, such as Les Guérillères and Le Corps lesbien. The last sequence in L'Opoponax depicts the climax of the love relationship between Catherine Legrand and Valerie Borge. This is indicated in the text by the linking of their names, which states their union (O, 256, 269, 277, 280). The fact that these appear alternately as "Valerie Borge Catherine Legrand" or "Catherine Legrand Valerie Borge" suggests their position as equals in this relationship and not as subject and objecta subtle but efficacious way of indicating a renversement of the traditional situation, and one that is developed in much more complex fashion in Le Corps lesbien.
The excitement of contemporary studies is that all of its critical practitioners and most of their subjects are alive and working at the same time. One work influences another, bringing to the field a spirit of competition and cooperation that reaches an intensity rarely found in other disciplines. Above all, this third series of Crosscurrents/Modern Critiques will be collegiala mutual interest in the present moment that can be shared by writer, subject, and reader alike. JEROME KLINKOWITZ Page xi Acknowledgments I wish to express my gratitude to Nathalie Sarraute for encouraging the writing of this book and for the insights she gave me into Wittig's work during our conversations in Paris.
A Constant Journey: The Fiction of Monique Wittig (Crosscurrents Modern Critiques) by Erika Ostrovsky