Self, Language and the Social in the Writings of Jules VallÈs (1832 - 1885): The Jacques Vingtras Trilogy

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This study offers a different and original reading of the Jacques Vingtras Trilogy, contributing a deeper comprehension of the work on a psychological, social, and literary plane. New dimensions of the text are explored using Girard’s concept of desire and Lacanaian thought in an analysis of the protagonist’s Self. The power of discourse, both verbal and non-verbal, is illustrated as exerting the various forms of social control portrayed in the trilogy. Finally, a look at the unresolved question of classifying Vallès’ writing shows that he created a full or global view of his subject through the combination of both internal and external realism.


“… promotes Vallès’ work with passion, persuasively highlighting the relevance of his writing to readers around the world in the twenty-first century…. addresses an academic audience, exploring new readings of the trilogy with reference to a number of critical theorists. However, she adopts a fresh, personal approach, writing unashamedly from the perspective of a twenty-first century North American… concentrates on the trilogy as text, and on the relationship between the author, his narrator and the creative process of writing….she investigates the relation of subject and self, the manipulation of memory in the creation of identity, and the interplay of different discourses in the text. In forefronting the text itself and the universal dimensions of Vallès work, she makes her writing accessible to a wide contemporary audience.” – Pamela M. Moores, Aston University, United Kingdom

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Preface, Acknowledgements, Foreword
1. The Subject: A Study of Desire, Memory, and Self
2. Social Borders: the Discourses of Power and Revolt
3. A Global View: An Internal and External Realism

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