Le devoir de mémoire: forme et fonction dans l'œuvre de Jean Rouaud
What is the relationship between the cave of Lascaux, French war memorials, comic strips of Hergé, the French résistance and a museum? These elements are all part of daily life for people living in France. However, understanding one's own culture and history is not easy in today's world. Representations of the past raise challenging issues for young generations. Memory becomes a duty - devoir de mémoire - for the young, who need to be aware of their history. Following this line of inquiry, I study the narratives of Jean Rouaud. Part one examines books on two museums from opposite perspectives. The first book, Le paléo circus (1996), is devotedto the preservation of the past, namely the paintings of Lascaux. In the other, "Roman-cité" (1996), the museum of Sciences and Industry in Paris represents today's legacy to the future. Part two focuses on five novels dedicated to mourning the deaths of the narrator's relatives: the grandfathers in Les champs d'honneur (1990), the father in Des hommes illustres(1993) and Le monde à peu près (1996), and finally the mother in Pour vos cadeaux (1998) and Sur la scène comme au ciel (1999). In these narratives, Rouaud's personal experiences are supported by both collective memory and imagination. This enables the emergence of 'sites of memory', the literary equivalent of what Pierre Nora called lieux de mémoire. Identifying these 'sites of memory' reveals elements of the French cultural inheritance which creates national identity.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:jean rouaud lieu de memoire post memory ethnotexte representing world war one
Date of Publication:01/01/2001