By Erika Ostrovsky
From the production of a neuter pronoun in her earliest paintings, L’Opoponax, to the confusion of genres in her latest fiction, Virgile, non, Monique Wittig makes use of literary subversion and invention to complete what Erika Ostrovsky safely defines as renversement, the annihilation of current literary canons and the construction of hugely leading edge constructs. Erika Ostrovsky explores these facets of Wittig’s paintings that top illustrate her literary method. one of the numerous innovative units that Wittig makes use of to accomplish renversement are the feminization of masculine gender names, the reorganization of fantasy styles, and the alternative of conventional punctuation along with her personal approach of grammatical emphasis and separation. it's the unforeseen volume and caliber of such literary units that make studying Monique Wittig’s fiction a clean and worthwhile adventure. Such literary units have earned Wittig the acclaim of her critics and peers—Marguerite Duras, Mary McCarthy, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Nathalie Sarraute, and Claude Simon, to call a few. While interpreting the intrinsic worth of every of Wittig’s fictions individually, Erika Ostrovsky lines the innovative improvement of Wittig’s significant literary units as they seem and reappear in her fictions. Ostrovsky continues that the seeds of these thoughts that seem in Wittig’s most modern texts are available way back to L’Opoponax. This proof of development helps Ostrovsky’s thought that clues to Wittig’s destiny endeavors are available in her previous.
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Additional resources for A Constant Journey: The Fiction of Monique Wittig (Crosscurrents Modern Critiques)
The third appearance of the opoponax, again in the form of a written text, is accompanied by a coincidental event of a dramatic naturea fire (O, 24042). It thus combines a verbal threat with a physical onedeath in flames, a fitting metaphor for consuming passion. This time, the opoponax is victorious. " The hated rival, Anne Marie Brunet, is overthrown, and the beloved, Valerie Borge, now promises to communicate (secretly) with Catherine Legrand, by means of correspondence (O, 24749). The acceptance of a love relationship thus manifests itself in an exchange of written texts.
And whereas in a later work, Le Corps lesbien, she experiments with intransitive verbs and the passive voice, here the verbs are predominantly transitive and used in the active voice. This is a fitting choice since these verb forms aptly render the atemporal quality of childhood and the active nature of a child's life. Once again, while the innovations in this domain become increasingly complex in Wittig's later fictions, they are already noticeable in this, her first novel. This is equally true for the vocabulary found in L'Opoponax.
And because the quotes are separated from each otherthe various stanzas occurring many pages apart in L'Opoponaxtheir original unity is destroyed. Yet, the relationship between Valerie Borge and Catherine Legrand that the quoted passages underscore is parallel to the development of the poem and thus reconstitutes its unity, even if only indirectly. This is perhaps most clearly seen through the placement of the portions of "L'Invitation au voyage" in this sequence of L'Opoponax. The first quatrain appears at the very outset of the sequence and constitutes, in the poem and in Wittig's text, the call to the beloved, an invitation to dream and love together (O, 254).
A Constant Journey: The Fiction of Monique Wittig (Crosscurrents Modern Critiques) by Erika Ostrovsky