La littérature à l'épreuve du réel : les jeux de Pascal Quignard avec les Lettres


French literature
Pascal Quignard
French language

How to Cite

Martin, Xavier. 2019. “La Littérature à L’épreuve Du Réel : Les Jeux De Pascal Quignard Avec Les Lettres”. Bergen Language and Linguistics Studies 10 (1), 11.


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

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).

Bergen Open Access Publishing