Université de Haute-Alsace (Mulhouse), ILLE (Institut de recherche en langues et littératures européennes) UHA (Mulhouse, France), ILLE (Institute of research in european languages and literatures)
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2 / 2014
Jules Renard’s Journal
The present study is examines the Journal of Jules Renard (1864-1910) by posing the question of the work (“oeuvre”) and showing that this is one of the greatest books of twentieth century French literature, even a seminal work in regard to the aphoristic and fragmentary, or fragmental writing. Is the note – among others – a special form of fragmental writing, or is it a new literary genre, of which the main criterion is its relative brevity? Brevity appears clearly as an ideal style, such as search for precision, as we can also see in the writings of Joseph Joubert (1754-1824), a precursor of poetic diary as practiced by Jules Renard. Apparently such “open” books composed of notes, reflections and quotations, have an impact on the role of writing and reading; the reader of a fragmental text realizes that the creative act is deeply contingent.
Keywords: Jules Renard, diary, notes, fragmental, writer, reader