The novel Les Larmes, by French writer Pascal Quignard, takes place in the ninth century, two twin brothers make totally different choices of life. Hartnid is always on the go. His twin, Nithard, is a pure scholar. His life is devoted to language. It is precisely his involment in language that allows him to write something that was never written before. He writes the Serments de Strasbourg (English: Oaths of Strasbourg, Latin: Sacramenta Argentariae) in 842, first written marks of a language that will become the French language.
This novel offers a unique opportunity to sketch a thought on the ability of literature to speak about our relationship to reality.
The first part of the article questions the gesture of the novelist who acts on himself and on reality when writing, he really tries to change the world.
The second part of the article studies the notion of realism and shows how Quignard finds a place in the history of literature that, today, stays away from realism, but, maybe, in order to better track down reality.
Finally, in order to grasp the specificity of the Works of Quignard, my interest in the aesthetic of Les Larmes is threefold: its complex structure, the fascination for origin that it shows and, the question of identity and splitting with the twin brothers Hartnid and Nithard.
The article concludes on the ability of artists to anticipate in their creations and, in advance, to tell about events that will occur in the future.
Copyright (c) 2019 Xavier Martin
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