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Légèreté pensive et énergie romanesque : Italo Calvino, Iris Murdoch et Raymond Queneau

Abstract : "Thoughtful lightness" is an expression used by Italo Calvino in one of his Lezioni americane conferences in order to define a fundamental writing principle. Distinguished from entertainment and frivolity, according to the author, thoughtful lightness is by no means passive, but on the contrary active, dense, and concise. Above all, it is indistinguishable from an ability to set the gaze in motion and must thus make it possible to translate the reality in all its complexity and energy. This dissertation then proposes to study how lightness contributes to the common project of Calvino and two major writers of European literature of the last century - Raymond Queneau and Iris Murdoch - of making the novel an "open" encyclopaedia, characterized by an ethical commitment: to say the world without confining it with a univocal reading grid or within a narcissistic ego. At the same time essayists and novelists, these three authors constantly theorize their own practice while seeking to maintain a critical distance from it. The thoughtful lightness then induces what could be called a "narrative energy". Defined as an active force, energy here characterizes the intensity of the text, its vitality, and the novel's ability to apprehend and make the reader apprehend the world differently. Thus coupled, "thoughtful lightness" and "fictional energy" make it possible to shed light on the way the works are made, while at the same time raising both poetic and philosophical issues.
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Barbara Servant. Légèreté pensive et énergie romanesque : Italo Calvino, Iris Murdoch et Raymond Queneau. Littératures. Université Rennes 2, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019REN20045⟩. ⟨tel-02926334⟩

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