L'invention d'Henry Darger

Abstract : The purpose of this study is to account for a triple invention. The first resultsfrom the incidental finding of Henry Darger’s works (1892-1973). The secondone, which is the result of institutional reception, consists in turning both writerand illustrator into an Outsider Artist, creator by accident, so to speak.Moreover, this approach favour his pictorial work, whereas he consideredhimself to be a novelist above all. These two inventions will give us theopportunity to present the main issue of this study : the artist’ self-creation,reclaiming the status of writer. In his writings, be they autobiographical or fiction, Darger displays a purposeful anxiety enabling him to question theprimacy of personal identity, hence multiplying potential selves. This purposefulanxiety questions his relation to the world and upsets the traditional structuresbetween what is real and what is true, right and wrong. It also unveils the unreal,this aspect of reality made available by fiction. Finally, Darger displays aliterally craft associated with pre-existing works, a fully-fledged writing-in-thereadingexperience still based upon a personal mythology: a set of themeswoven into an architecture of symbols.
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Xavier Mauméjean. L'invention d'Henry Darger. Littératures. Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambresis, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019VALE0011⟩. ⟨tel-02304662⟩

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