By Erika Ostrovsky
From the production of a neuter pronoun in her earliest paintings, L’Opoponax, to the confusion of genres in her newest fiction, Virgile, non, Monique Wittig makes use of literary subversion and invention to complete what Erika Ostrovsky safely defines as renversement, the annihilation of present literary canons and the production of hugely leading edge constructs. Erika Ostrovsky explores these facets of Wittig’s paintings that most sensible illustrate her literary method. 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 alternative of conventional punctuation together with her personal method 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 adventure. 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 studying 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 keeps that the seeds of these thoughts that seem in Wittig’s most modern texts are available way back to L’Opoponax. This proof of development helps Ostrovsky’s concept that clues to Wittig’s destiny endeavors are available in her previous.
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Additional info for A Constant Journey: The Fiction of Monique Wittig (Crosscurrents Modern Critiques)
While the work refuses the language of adults (since its predominant lexicon avoids abstract terminology and consists of words that express the direct, concrete experiences of children), it does not yet declare war on the words/worlds of the Page 27 opponent as does, for example, Les Guérillères. As a matter of fact, the pronouncements of the adults are incorporated into the text on a number of occasions. However, because Wittig (perhaps affected by the work of Nathalie Sarraute) has eliminated the use of quotation marks or any other markers that differentiate what is said from what is told or that indicate a change in speaker (such as the dash in French), even the pronouncements of the adults can be considered to be filtered through the language of the children, and thus appropriated by the children.
However, her treatment of the question of language has the merit of simplicity and absence of jargon that characterizes her entire communication, and she appeals, once more, to the imaginative potential of her public. To begin with, language is defined as the primary ingredient of the writer's craft (that is, his/her "raw material"), and as such, it is comparable to the sculptor's clay, the painter's colors, or the musician's sounds. In order to differentiate words from these other raw materials though, Wittig again uses the key image of her text: Words are, each one of them, like the Trojan Horse.
Although some critics attribute Wittig's treatment of fictional time primarily to a refusal of "phallocentric" linear concepts,13 it seems more appropriate here to consider her obvious preference for a use of temporal notions that characterize childhood and are in contrast to those of adults. The latter, it has been pointed out, are inevitably associated with loss, degeneration, decrepitude, death, or what has been Page 14 described as the "fall into time, 14 while the child's experience emphasizes duration, continuity, endlessness, and an eternal present.
A Constant Journey: The Fiction of Monique Wittig (Crosscurrents Modern Critiques) by Erika Ostrovsky