LES STRATÉGIES DISCURSIVES DU PARATEXTE DES RÉCITS DE VIE LITTÉRAIRES: LA TRANSTEXTUALITÉ DU BIOGRAPHIQUE
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DISCOURSE/ STRATEGIES OF THE PARATEXT OF LITERARY LIFE STORIES: TRANSTEXTUALITY OF THE BIOGRAPHICAL ELEMENT
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Life stories, fictional biographies, biofictions, biographical novels, imaginary life, etc. have been one of the major trends in French literature in the recent decades. Our article deals with the analysis of the paratext (titles, subtitles, titles genre, epigraphs, editorial indices, etc.) which frames and represents these texts. We know that the paratext is not secondary to text understanding, since, both literally and metaphorically, it is the very threshold thereof and generates the reader’s first horizon of expectations. Actually, we suppose that the latter highlights the ambiguity generated in turn by the existence of two pacts, of which the texts under study are a shining example. Admittedly, from a certain point of view, it seems that the paratext anchors the story in the “real world”, because it states, explicitly or implicitly, that the character whose life is recounted is a person who really existed (it is common knowledge that denotative or referential functions are characteristic of the biographical project). Sometimes, however, simultaneously and contradictorily, other paratextual indications (such as “novel”, “collection”, “fiction”, etc.) introduce a pact of fictional reading. In short, the paratext sometimes seems to indicate that “there is nothing true, nothing false” (Lamartine) in what we are about to read. We then examine the strategies of the paratext which establish the biographical discourse, as well as the relationship represented in the texts by the pair “biographé / biographant”. In the final phase of the approach we identify the main functions different paratextuals can have in literary works as well as in biographical discourse.
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