Soutenance de thèse

Le Samedi, 25. novembre 2023 -
14:00 - 17:45
Salle des Actes à l’Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 - Site Saint Charles


Soutiendra samedi 25 novembre 2023 à 14 h

Salle des Actes n° 011 à l’Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3

une thèse de DOCTORAT

Discipline : Études du monde anglophone

Titre de la thèse : The Ethics of Fragmentation in the « state-of-the-nation novels » of the 20th and 21st Centuries

Composition du jury :

  • Mme Vanessa GUIGNERY, Professeure, ENS Lyon
  • M. Georges LETISSIER, Professeur émérite, Nantes Université
  • Mme Esther PEEREN, Professeure, Université d’Amsterdam (Pays-Bas)
  • Mme Christine REYNIER, Professeure, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, directrice de thèse
  • M. Stephen ROSS, Professeur, Université de Victoria (Canada)

Résumé de la thèse

This thesis focuses on the evolution of “state-of-the-nation novels” during the 20th and 21st centuries and more precisely on the relationship between the notion of responsibility (as successively developed by Emmanuel Levinas and Judith Butler) and fragmentation (as a formal device but also as a token of social, political and psychological turmoil). Thirty years separate each novel of the corpus, and a century has passed between the first and the last. The six novels selected for this thesis (The Return of the Soldier (1918) by Rebecca West, South Riding (1936) by Winifred Holtby, The Holiday (1949) by Stevie Smith, No Laughing Matter (1967) by Angus Wilson, What a Carve Up! (1994) by Jonathan Coe and Capital (2012), by John Lanchester) appear as literary challenges of the status quo. They question the normative frameworks of social recognition and destabilise the literary canon to better reflect and examine the body politic. This study attempts to demonstrate how form and ethics seem to intertwine in « state-of-the-nation novels », drawing from T.W. Adorno's parallel between form and political commitment. The novels’ emphasis on the intricacies of different types of discourses are an invitation to suspicion, which seems to be encapsulated in their fragmentary nature. The correlation of formal, social and ethical fragmentation eventually raises questions as to the actual performativity of the genre at moments of political crises.

Dernière mise à jour : 07/11/2023