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Appears in Collections:eTheses from Faculty of Arts and Humanities legacy departments
Title: Commitment to change in the work of Michel Butor
Author(s): Inglis, Angus A
Issue Date: 1984
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Michel Butor is one of the most prolific writers of post-war French literature. The size of his production is equalled only by its diversity. Originally a novelist, Butor has developed into an author of "open works", opera, poetry, dream texts and children's books. This study is a search for unity in the midst of this diversity. Taking as our starting point Butor's adoption of Rimbaud' s famous assertion ·'Il faut changer la vie", we elaborate a perspective of commitment to change in both writing and reality which we apply to the four most developed areas of Butor's production: the novels, the experimental texts, the Illustrations series and the Mati~re de Reves series. Devoting one section of the thesis to each of these four areas, we examine the parallel between the formal evolution of Butor's production, the change that can be seen in his writing, and the thematic evolution, the change that he would like to see in reality. In the novel section we discuss Butor's treat ment of the myth of imperial dominance as the expression of modern western man's existential outlook and its implications for the reader of novels together with Butor's own, different existential outlook and his consequent abandonment of the novel genre. In the second section we examine Butor's conception of the relationship between man and place together with his exp(,ri mental attempts to solve the problems raised by the novel form, the solution finally appearing in the thought 1?ehind the "open work". The Illustrations section contains a study of Butor's collaboration with the art world, his development of the corporate text and the elaboration of the concept of collage reality, a concept designed to replace the imperial organisation criticised in the novels. Finally in the Mati~re de Rives section we analyse Butor's method of using his own literary career as an example of the re-integration, re-organisation and attitude required for the construction and maintenance of the new, collage reality.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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