Dr. Katarzyna Thiel-Janczuk teaches at the Foreign Languages College of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. She earned her Ph.D. in French Literature. Dr. Thiel-Janczuk has published articles devoted to such figures as Patrick Modiano, Annie Ernaux and Pierre Michon.
2006 0-7734-5550-7 This book, by making reference to a theoretical reflection on themes of mythocriticism, the philosophy of language and the individual, places the work of this modern author within the context of two metaphors – the mythical labyrinth and its postmodernist variant, Deleuze’s rhizome – treated as figures of identity and otherness. They express two contrary tendencies in Modiano’s writing. The labyrinth signifies the breakdown of the historical paradigm of identity and the crisis of the referential functioning of literature, characteristic of structuralist thought. An attempt to recover the reliability of narration outside historical time leads the author towards archaic images which allude to the traditional idea of the sacred. The imagination, however, dictates images which are not grounded in history and are thus a parody of the mythical reversion. The rhizome, as a metaphor for opening, not only breaks down the traditional dichotomy between reality and fiction, but also, by making reference to the contemporary idea of nomadism inspired by Jewish tradition, carries a reflection on identity and otherness in the field of ethics. In the context of biographical narration, the co-existence of the labyrinth and the rhizome signifies on one hand a vain attempt to recreate faithful events from the character’s life, and on the other a restoration of the intersubjective relationship of the author with the Other, whether real or imagined, within the space of the text. This makes it possible to treat the autobiographical and autofictional dimension of Modiano’s work not as an attempt to create the author’s fictional or real identity, but as the coming into being of his ethical identity. In French