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Search Menu Julien Gracq — was generally considered to be the doyen of French letters at his demise on 22 December , aged ninety-seven.
Other reasons include his mordant, if prophetic, pronouncements against the burgeoning commercialization of literature in postwar France. Also, his refusal of the Goncourt in for Le Rivage des Syrtes did not win him friends in certain circles, even though he had forewarned the jury in advance that he would not accept the prize if chosen. Above all, however, Gracq was emotionally marked by the First and Second World Wars: the four-year-old felt the First as a strange sense of the festive, and freedom from the everyday, and the Second as an unleashing of unstoppable, destructive forces in the s.
For Gracq, the imminence and immanence of history as catastrophe is a dominant theme, heightened by the influences on his work of the Surrealist uncanny and French and German Romantic sensibilities, with their emphasis on yearning, the absolute, and estrangement. More needs to be done. The organizer, Michel Murat, called for a new reading of the works, neither simply thematic a first wave of criticism nor linguistic, semiotic the second , but rather as incarnational texts, sites of exchanges between the word and the world, esthetics and ethics.
One of these areas foregrounds Gracq the geographer, and the poetics of space. Other fairly recent works have placed Gracq in the lineage of the sublime. An exploration of the erotics of textuality or the rewriting of myth could bring together Barthes and Gracq in an interesting fashion.
Likewise, Gracq and Deleuze share similar concerns. The narrative of Gracq as solitary hermit also needs to be rewritten. His works merit our attention. Political circumstances prevented Poirier from receiving a visa for research in the Soviet Union in on his projected doctoral thesis in geomorphology.
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