By Erika Ostrovsky
From the construction 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 present literary canons and the production of hugely cutting edge constructs. Erika Ostrovsky explores these facets of Wittig’s paintings that most sensible 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 delusion styles, and the alternative of conventional punctuation along with her personal procedure of grammatical emphasis and separation. it's the unforeseen volume and caliber of such literary units that make interpreting Monique Wittig’s fiction a clean and lucrative event. 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 examining the intrinsic price of every of Wittig’s fictions individually, Erika Ostrovsky strains the revolutionary improvement of Wittig’s significant literary units as they seem and reappear in her fictions. Ostrovsky continues that the seeds of these suggestions that seem in Wittig’s latest texts are available way back to L’Opoponax. This facts of development helps Ostrovsky’s conception that clues to Wittig’s destiny endeavors are available in her earlier.
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Additional info for A Constant Journey: The Fiction of Monique Wittig (Crosscurrents Modern Critiques)
O: L'Opoponax. Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1964. " Feminist Issues 4, no. 4 (1984), 4549. V: Virgile, non. Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1985. Page 3 Prologue "Tout Geste Est Renversement" (Les Guérillères) Renversement, in all its multiplicity of meaningsupheaval, overthrow, reversal, and subversioncan be considered the key to Monique Wittig's writing. From the very start, Wittig's use of this concept has spelled the annihilation of existing literary canons and the creation of highly innovative constructs.
Other interesting examples of Wittig's work with language can be found in her use of verbs. In L'Opoponax, as has been seen, these are all in the present tense (except for one instance in the very last phrase). 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.
A scant five pages long and not easily available,9 it is nevertheless a key document that provides fundamental and invaluable insights into her entire work. Here, Wittig states her basic outlook, unequivocally defines her stance as a writer, and destroys a number of misconceptions that have frequently flawed discussions of her fictions. As a backward glance by an author at his/her own writingafter having reached maturity as an artistit is as valuable for the critic as, for example, Céline's Entretiens avec le Professeur Y, Ionesco's Notes et contrenotes, and Sarraute's L'Ere du soupçon.