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Écrire le folklore : subversions épistémiques chez Zora Neale Hurston et Toni Morrison

Abstract : The present work seeks to demonstrate how the use of folklore, both as a discipline and as objects, leads to subversion in the works of Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison. A questioning of folklore (nature and origin of the items, definition of the discipline) sheds new light on literary issues such as identity formation and assignation or power relationships. In a transdiciplinary approach that goes beyond using resources from separate fields, this study aims at assessing how much they modify one another. Because she was both an anthropologist and a fiction writer, Hurston embodies the interaction between literary and folkloric materials. Her polymorphic work blends fiction with folklore and vernacular with poetic language. The epistemological, political and literary issues it reveals are crucial to Morrison’s writing and allow a better understanding of her crafting of a discourse oriented towards plurality and performance. The study of the interplay between orality and literature shows that variation, central to the oral tradition, infuses the corpus, promoting plurality and polyphony. The second part focuses on beliefs and the supernatural: their endorsement challenges a hierarchical order by giving value back to « discredited knowledge. » Hurston’s positioning within folklore as a discipline and its evolution leads to a reexamination of the concept of « magical realism » used for Morrison’s novels. Finally, a system of alternate interpretation and competing subtexts, especially concerning religion and folktales, supports multiplicity in the interpretative possibilities and enables the rehabilitation of forms of discourse depreciated because of social, racial, gender and institutional discriminations.
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Carline Blanc. Écrire le folklore : subversions épistémiques chez Zora Neale Hurston et Toni Morrison. Littératures. Université Paris-Est, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017PESC0050⟩. ⟨tel-01909633⟩

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