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Esthétique, politique et éthique : la création littéraire dans l’œuvre romanesque de John Steinbeck

Abstract : John Steinbeck’s works cannot be reduced to a strict aesthetic or ideological categorization. They are often studied at the crossroads of colourful styles that intermingle and clash, in order to grasp the substratum of the work behind its varieties. The challenge of this thesis is to study the link between aesthetics, politics and ethics, starting not from the writer's political positions but from the works themselves, in order to analyze the ways in which these notions can be dynamically and progressively highlighted as the work unfolds over four decades. Moving from the lyrical and picaresque novel to the social novel (particularly Tortilla Flat and the Dust Bowl Novels trilogy: In Dubious Battle, Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath), John Steinbeck makes it possible for a political critique to be constructed in his work based on a questioning of the linearity of narrative discourse. Like the form of the discourse, the narrative “content” conveys and develops a political vision that substitutes for the American Dream and its utopian “Melting Pot” a more realistic sociopolitical structure in which one perceives “two opposing classes”, by virtue of the system of capitalist domination. Steinbeck reworked the novel genre to develop a providential, humanist and anti-capitalist vision. By testing the notions of plot, protagonist (or “hero”) and temporality, he placed this political critique at the very heart of the writing process, inviting readers to take a fresh look at his more “political” works of the 1930s and 1950s, and at the links between modernism, political engagement and ecology. Although some of his works are radically contested, he has made constant use of the myth of origins. This recourse to the mythical thoughts of the founding American texts acts as a hyphen allowing him to deconstruct literarily the dominant political discourses of his society.
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Submitted on : Monday, December 21, 2020 - 5:12:10 PM
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Abdourahmane Diouf. Esthétique, politique et éthique : la création littéraire dans l’œuvre romanesque de John Steinbeck. Littératures. Le Mans Université, 2020. Français. ⟨NNT : 2020LEMA3008⟩. ⟨tel-03085346⟩



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