In Dora Bruder, Patrick Modiano gives the following comment on his own novelistic writing: “Like many writers before me, I believe in coincidence, and, sometimes, in the novelist’s gift for clairvoyance - the word ‘gift’ not being the right one, for it implies a kind of superiority. Clairvoyance is simply part of the profession: the essential leaps of imagination, the need to fix one’s mind on detail - to the point of obsession, in fact - so as not to lose the thread and give in to one’s natural laziness. All this tension, this cerebral exercise, may well lead in the long run to ‘flashes of intuition concerning events past and future’, as defined by Larousse dictionary under ’clairvoyance’.” (Dora Bruder (Paris 1997), English edition: The Search Warrant, Harvill Secker, London 2014, p. 47-48).
By analyzing some selected passages from this novel, I study some relations between M. Bakhtin’s theory of the chronotope and the effects of the novelist Modiano’s “gift for clairvoyance” as presented in the quotation above. I also comment on some representations of intertextuality and intratextuality in Dora Bruder.
Copyright (c) 2019 Helge Vidar Holm
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